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A (civil) discussion of the drone war?


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#1    and then

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:10 AM

I've been thinking about America's use of weaponized drones against our enemies and I've come to a few conclusions.  I won't share them all but I am curious if anyone at UM sees this form of warfare as justifiable in ANY situation?  The unintended killing of innocents is a part of every war.  If these individuals hide among civilian populations (often with their approval) then how does one strike them otherwise?  The use of drones tends to be more surgical than a heavy SOG team would be in achieving the death of our enemies.  So is the issue the means America uses or is it that America fights this war at all?  Interested in your ideas but not in flaming my thread - please leave personalities out of this and act as if someone beside me is asking the question :w00t:

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#2    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:21 AM

There is that issue of "collateral damage" which will (or damn well should) haunt the people who pushed the buttons and who authorised the attack.
But if it keeps "our guys" safe from "their guys" then I'm all for it.

Psychologically speaking though - I do have to wonder if there's a disconnect between the drone operator and the foot slogger. Both kill the enemy, but do they both suffer the same sort of psychological reaction?

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#3    Yamato

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:35 AM



Quote

the drone war

any pros?

Obama's drone wars are more detestable than Obamacare, okay?   Looking at the drones by numbers, the Obama White House escalated the "drone war" so much that they make King George the W. look like a flyweight.

http://billmoyers.co...by-the-numbers/

This OP is like asking for the pros of President Obama.  He's a good basketball player?



Has he made the world safer for the US or Pakistan with these undeclared wars?   No I don't think so.

"The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the Legislature.  The Executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question" ~ James Madison
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#4    Q-C

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:51 AM

I hate war. But I do not detest our military or its personnel. So, I also agree that anything to keep more of our soldiers safe would be a good thing. While at the same time I wonder the same question:

View PostSir Wearer of Hats, on 29 October 2013 - 05:21 AM, said:

Psychologically speaking though - I do have to wonder if there's a disconnect between the drone operator and the foot slogger. Both kill the enemy, but do they both suffer the same sort of psychological reaction?

But hasn't the same been said for bombers? What has been the psychological implications/reactions for those who never see who they bomb either? I don't know I'm asking.
I watched something years ago on one pilot coming to terms with the realization of just how many he  killed with one run X his career. But that is all I remember, no other details.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 29 October 2013 - 05:56 AM.

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#5    Yamato

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:56 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 29 October 2013 - 05:51 AM, said:

But hasn't the same been said for bombers? What has been the psychological implications/reactions for those who never see who they bomb either?
Yes, they're psychologically disconnected from the terror that people on the ground surely must feel when those bombs begin to detonate.  It makes it a lot easier for the policy when the bombardiers are at 35,000+ feet and nobody will ever see the carnage.

"The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the Legislature.  The Executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question" ~ James Madison
"Peace cannot be achieved by force, only by understanding."  ~ Albert Einstein
"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

#6    Frank Merton

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:27 AM

Using drone weapons against people in another country is an act of war.  Therefore it depends on what the other country wants to do about it.  I see no particular moral issue beyond those that involve wars in general.


#7    Farmer77

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:28 AM

View Postand then, on 29 October 2013 - 05:10 AM, said:

I've been thinking about America's use of weaponized drones against our enemies and I've come to a few conclusions.  I won't share them all but I am curious if anyone at UM sees this form of warfare as justifiable in ANY situation?  The unintended killing of innocents is a part of every war.  If these individuals hide among civilian populations (often with their approval) then how does one strike them otherwise?  The use of drones tends to be more surgical than a heavy SOG team would be in achieving the death of our enemies.  So is the issue the means America uses or is it that America fights this war at all?  Interested in your ideas but not in flaming my thread - please leave personalities out of this and act as if someone beside me is asking the question :w00t:

I think that in a legitimate warzone , in a legitimate war it would be the duty of the government to use drones when possible to defend American lives. The problem I have with them is the absolute lack of accountability our government has when they use them in today. We hear their story and that's it. Even for those of us who look beyond the American media for information the American influence - either through dollar or muscle - has in one way or another tainted the story of what, why, when, who and did it work and how many died.

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#8    and then

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:28 AM

View PostSir Wearer of Hats, on 29 October 2013 - 05:21 AM, said:

There is that issue of "collateral damage" which will (or damn well should) haunt the people who pushed the buttons and who authorised the attack.
But if it keeps "our guys" safe from "their guys" then I'm all for it.

Psychologically speaking though - I do have to wonder if there's a disconnect between the drone operator and the foot slogger. Both kill the enemy, but do they both suffer the same sort of psychological reaction?
I think that is probably down to the individual's conscience or lack thereof.  I don't know the command structure of such an operation but I think any use of weapons would be tightly reviewed and controlled i.e. one decision maker in the chain.  Ultimately it would be that person's issue at bedtime.  As for the operators - I'd imagine them being in the same class as particularly bad snipers (in most cases) who know they PROBABLY will kill more than just their targets.

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  for what could be, the darkest age...
“This is like playing poker with a guy who cheated you twice before. You know who does that, a moron.

#9    and then

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:36 AM

View PostYamato, on 29 October 2013 - 05:35 AM, said:





Obama's drone wars are more detestable than Obamacare, okay?   Looking at the drones by numbers, the Obama White House escalated the "drone war" so much that they make King George the W. look like a flyweight.

http://billmoyers.co...by-the-numbers/

This OP is like asking for the pros of President Obama.  He's a good basketball player?



Has he made the world safer for the US or Pakistan with these undeclared wars?   No I don't think so.
I support the use of the drones as long as they are being used to kill enemies who are actively threatening our troops and our country.  Those people do actually still exist and if we treat them with the rights of a citizen of this country then they will eventually win in this conflict.  Having said that I also agonize over the lives ruined and destroyed as a result of these weapons as well.  They are victims as surely as any American soldier or civilian.  Imagine that the drones were unavailable.  Any leader of al qaeda in the NW of Pakistan would simply be untouchable unless we risked large units of troops to go after each one.  The locals would fight to the death to protect each one and the numbers of dead would be catastrophic for both sides.

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...
“This is like playing poker with a guy who cheated you twice before. You know who does that, a moron.

#10    and then

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:42 AM

View PostFarmer77, on 29 October 2013 - 06:28 AM, said:

I think that in a legitimate warzone , in a legitimate war it would be the duty of the government to use drones when possible to defend American lives. The problem I have with them is the absolute lack of accountability our government has when they use them in today. We hear their story and that's it. Even for those of us who look beyond the American media for information the American influence - either through dollar or muscle - has in one way or another tainted the story of what, why, when, who and did it work and how many died.
You placed too many impossibles in the way to say you support it Farmer.  These days war has NO legitimate zones.  I agree about the issue of accountability though I'm not sure how we devise a system for that that wouldn't be used as a political assassination tool.  In the 40's we didn't agonize - we bent to the needs of reality and crushed an enemy we recognized as a threat to all we believed in.  We killed HUNDREDS of thousands of civilians - in awful ways - and then stood proud of the victory.  These days of course we have people coming out of the woodwork to condemn what a previous generation did -even though their very existence might be owed to those actions that were taken.  War is the most awful legacy of mankind and for all our profligacy with technology and increased knowledge in general, all we seem to change about war is how it is fought.

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...
“This is like playing poker with a guy who cheated you twice before. You know who does that, a moron.

#11    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:16 AM

It seems to be as if America is trying to pursue justice by means of the Missile. What it's doing is essentially assassinating criminal suspects without the need for any of that tedious business of capturing them and putting them on trial first- see also, of course O. bin Laden. This may be a heck of a lot easier than trying to pursue justice by the tedious, time-consuming traditional means, but I don't think it really does very much for the credibility of America's insistence that it should be the global arbiter of Justice, and that it is the example for every other nation to follow. if it is justice, it's the justice of I am the Law. It's not even the justice of the Wild West, since there at least it was one specific person that the Lawman was after, and they tried to minimise collateral damage.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#12    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:18 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 29 October 2013 - 06:27 AM, said:

Using drone weapons against people in another country is an act of war.  Therefore it depends on what the other country wants to do about it.  I see no particular moral issue beyond those that involve wars in general.
but that's the point; most of these countries that the US has sent its robo-assassins in to the U.S. has not been at war with; many of them have been so-called Allies. This isn't war, it's assassination by the armed forces.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#13    and then

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 08:43 AM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 29 October 2013 - 08:18 AM, said:

but that's the point; most of these countries that the US has sent its robo-assassins in to the U.S. has not been at war with; many of them have been so-called Allies. This isn't war, it's assassination by the armed forces.
Afghanistan and pakistan are the primary locations for these strikes.  Yemen comes in 3rd I think.  Where else are they being used?

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...
“This is like playing poker with a guy who cheated you twice before. You know who does that, a moron.

#14    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:14 AM

Pakistan is supposed to be a Valued Ally, aren't they? (Obviously, no one actually believes that, but still, you might have thought the Govt. might have some concern about the ethics of launching air strikes on countries that are supposed to be Valued Allies.)

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#15    Frank Merton

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:21 AM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 29 October 2013 - 08:18 AM, said:

but that's the point; most of these countries that the US has sent its robo-assassins in to the U.S. has not been at war with; many of them have been so-called Allies. This isn't war, it's assassination by the armed forces.
When there are acts of war (and they happen a lot -- assassination, counterfeiting currencies and other documents, spying, kidnappings, as well as things like lobbing missiles or carrying out raids), the other country has the right to retaliate, to protest, to ask for a Security Council hearing, to sever relations and treaties, and so on.  It must then accept any consequences of what it does.

What the US is doing doesn't seem to me unique except they have a way of doing it out in the desert.  The cost or even possibility of doing it all nice an legally is silly, since such an trial would be illegal anyway.  There is a good deal of hypocrisy going on here, and the posters who get themselves in an uproar morally about anything the States does should keep that in mind.





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