Hello good people.
I got a very good comment on the last post here. While I just made mention of the obscene amounts of money that are being wasted on the idiotic wars of choice we are stuck in today, the commenter brought up another reason to be very angry about the current messes.
The topic of this post will attempt to address that concern. As I said in my reply to his comment, this topic needs its own posting. So, here goes.
One of the very huge dangers we have created for ourselves regards the use of drone aircraft to carry out air strikes in Iraq and in particular, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
These "pilots" who fly the drones "fighting" the war from the comfort of air bases right here in the good old US of A. They drive to the base and clock in to start their shift, fly the mission, and can be safe at home in time for their evening meal. A good part of the air war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is being fought by remote control. While the drones have very sophisticated cameras and sensors, there is still a big risk of "pilot error" in targeting just who or what they are shooting at or bombing. True, there is pilot error when the plane is flown by an actual pilot, so any error of this sort is not native to the remote controlled air craft.
What IS bothersome, frightening in fact, is that by using remotely controlled air craft to carry out the air strikes, we making war more like a video game. The "pilots" who fly these drones only see the video screen in front of them. They do not see the surroundings the same way a real human pilot would. The entire operation is very much like a video game that one might play at home on any of the current gaming platforms.
There is the worrying bit. By removing the "fighter" from the actual combat arena, we have taken the element of personal danger out of war. By making it so very easy to drop bombs on a target, with no personal danger to the pilot, it becomes just another video game. War made very easy. Too easy in my opinion. As we make war less dangerous and easy, we also make war much more likely.
Why not bomb any country at any time? If there is no personal rick to the pilot, we make it all too easy to just bomb any where, at any time. Wars are very messy, nasty, brutish affairs. Just ask anybody who has been in a war. They will tell you it is noisy, dirty, confused, and frightening. Wars are messy folks.
As we make it safer to bomb a target, we make it easier for the leaders to just send a drone off to bomb anybody they decide to bomb. After all, there is no pilot who could be shot down and/or captured, so the risk is very minimal.
Wars should never be this easy. War should always be the very last resort, and then only for defense. By using these remote controlled vehicles to fight wars, we are making it way too easy to fight more useless wars.
Unfortunately, I see no way to stop the use of drones. I do agree that using them for surveillance is a good idea. But, as soon as the brass saw how that worked, it was a very small step for them to put bombs on the drones and use them for air strikes.
In my personal opinion, the only way to end the use of the drones to fight wars is to stop having wars. We are currently involved in three wars of choice. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. We were lied to in order to drum up support for the first two. We just "needed" to add Pakistan as the Taliban were crossing the Afghan/Pakistan border, so bombing parts of Pakistan was just a "natural" progression of the Afghan war. Or so we have been told.
The stated "goal" of invading Afghanistan was, or so they said in 2001, was to kill or capture bin Laden. Well, that didn't work out very well. The Taliban had even offered to hand him over to the US before we began our bombing and invasion IF we would provide evidence that he had been behind the 9/11 attacks here. For whatever reason, our "leaders" refused this offer. Why? I have no idea. Maybe we did't/don't have any real proof that bin laden was the force behind the 9/11 attacks.
In truth, the Taliban have never threatened the USA. They have no air force, no navy, and basically no means of sending a large force to attack us. Also, for the most part, the Taliban are Afghans. Yes, there are some foreign fighters who side with the Taliban, but basically, they Taliban are Afghans, and as such, they will continue to have the support of many of their fellow citizens. In some respects, the Taliban are not unlike the old Minutemen of the American Revolution. They are fighting on home soil for their land and families. We are the "red coats" in their country. Much as we were in Vietnam and Iraq.
The best thing to do, is to stop the wars and bring our troops home. We call it the Department of Defense. OK, then close the over 700 US bases on foreign soil and bring those troops home also. Let them defend America for a change. We could station them at the ports and borders here. Then they would be actually defending America.
The use of drones to fight our wars is making war all to easy. Fewer casualties this way. The pilots even get to be home in time for the evening meal and have time to watch TV with the family. By making war so easy to fight, we insure that we will continue to have more useless damn fool wars of choice.
Just my 2 cents worth.