This article was originally published by the Los Angeles Times
Once one actually researches the inherent weaknesses of the technology, all this drone mania becomes far less impressive. Drones have not changed the face of combat as the following article asserts. Wars are still fought pretty much the same as they have been for decades. However, the proliferation of unmanned technology does add a certain dangerous aspect to war that was at least slightly less prevalent in the past; the lack of human consequence. A drone flown by remote by a pilot thousands of miles away risks nothing accept the cost of the weapon’s construction when going into battle, and so, there is no apprehension. This is certainly a frightening dynamic. Killing with a drone, even killing innocents, is probably the easiest brand of killing there is; like playing a video game rather than facing the pyres of war. The coldness of the drone, I believe, is what is truly most disturbing…
For further information on how drone technology works, check out my recent article “Low Tech Solutions To High Tech Tyranny”:
Brandon Smith, Associate Editor
Despite concerns about U.S.-made drones ending up in enemy hands, American military contractors are lobbying the government to loosen export restrictions and open up foreign markets to the unmanned aircraft that have reshaped modern warfare.
Companies such as Northrop Grumman Corp.and other arms makers are eager to tap a growing foreign appetite for high-tech — and relatively cheap — drones, already being sold on the world market by countries such as Israel and China.
“Export restrictions are hurting this industry in America without making us any safer,” Wesley G. Bush, Northrop’s chief executive, said at a defense conference this year. “The U.S. is struggling to sell unmanned aircraft to our allies while other nations prepare to jump into the marketplace with both feet.”
The defense industry may want to sell more drones overseas, but arms control advocates are alarmed. The potential for these weapons to fall into enemy hands is great, they say, and easing restrictions could result in remote-controlled killing machines being used in some of the most volatile regions of the world.
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Assn., said that drone sales are problematic because the unmanned vehicles are more affordable than other military aircraft. And with no human pilot at risk, drones could make it easier to decide to go to war, he said.
“The proliferation of this technology will mark a major shift in the way wars are waged,” he said. “We’re talking about very sophisticated war machines here. We need to be very careful about who gets this technology. It could come back to hurt us.”
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