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Whatís Wrong With Drone Strikes?

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  • Whatís Wrong With Drone Strikes?

    Iíve repeatedly written here about the virtues of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as weapon systems. I think they are the coming thing, and not simply as low-intensity reconnaissance and occasional strike platforms. In fifty years Iíd be surprised to see a single manned combat aircraft flying. Of course, in fifty years Iíd also be surprised to still be around to see anything flying, but you know what I mean.

    But there is a difference between the utility of a piece of hardware and the wisdom of its employment Ė and sometimes that difference is a yawning chasm. The continuing campaign of drone strikes against northwestern Pakistan may be a case in point. The CIA recently had to pull its section chief from Islamabad, where Karim Khan, a Pakistani journalist from Northern Waziristan, publicly accused him of being responsible for the death of the journalistís brother and son in a drone strike gone wrong.

    The CIA cited security issues as the reason for his withdrawal, and there is certainly something to that. When the public finds out who the CIA section head is in a country, especially a country in which the CIA is conducting a vigorous campaign of targeted killings via drone missile, security ought to be a concern. Of equal or greater concern was the prospect of a CIA official dragged into a Pakistani courtroom and charged with capital murder. Not the Christmas present anyone in Langley was looking for.

    It does serve to bring into the light the whole issue of the CIA-directed ...




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    I'm waiting for, and would expect to see soon, remotely-operated, armed 'hover-drones' which can be maneuvered around and between buildings, using face recognition technology (which I understand the current drones already have) and take out individual targets. They may even be programmed remotely to operate autonomously.

    Philip
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."ó Bertrand Russell

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