The Drone War Goes Global

July 16th, 2011 - by admin

Tom Ashbrook / On Point WBUR – 2011-07-16 01:09:59

The Drone War
Tom Ashbrook / On Point WBUR

(,July 11, 2011 ) — In the Hollywood version, the Star Wars version of war, the guys using drones to fire down on rebels are rarely the good guys. Drones are too cold, faceless, lethal to win the crowd. But around the world, drones — for reconnaissance and for lethal attack — are increasingly the face of the US military.

In half a dozen countries now, they can and do rain down sudden, devastating violence. They’re cheaper than “boots on the ground.” They’re easier and quieter to deploy. They’re the future, experts say. And very busy right now. But where does drone war go?

The Drone War
Tom Ashbrook / On Point
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From Tom’s Reading List:
Foreign Affairs:
“On average, only one out of every seven US drone attacks in Pakistan kills a militant leader. The majority of those killed in such strikes are not important insurgent commanders but rather low-level fighters, together with a small number of civilians. In total, according to our analysis, less than two percent of those killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan have been described in reliable press accounts as leaders of al Qaeda or allied groups.”

New York Times:
“Two miles from the cow pasture where the Wright Brothers learned to fly the first airplanes, military researchers are at work on another revolution in the air: shrinking unmanned drones, the kind that fire missiles into Pakistan and spy on insurgents in Afghanistan, to the size of insects and birds.”