Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
quadcopter/drones for backpacking (the future is coming)
Display Avatars Sort By:
Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Re Re Re al-Awlaki on 10/20/2013 09:45:47 MDT Print View

There is an interesting free video on Stratfor.com discussing the issue of technology and war. Basically they argue precision weapons have changed how wars will be fought and the moral calculations made in war.

In 1900 a land fighting unit would have had artillery, rifles and bayonets. They didn't really have the ability to target an individual. The only way they could have gone after al-Awlaki would have been to invade whatever country sheltered him and fight a massive traditional war. That sort of thing started World War I for example.

Now the military can send in drones, collect phone intercepts and target one or two individuals. They can find a guy like al-Awlaki or bin-Ladin and kill him without an invasion.

In one sense that is good, an airstrike in Yemen is preferable to an invasion of Yemen. On the other hand we're acting like judge, jury and executioner when we use a drone because the target can't really surrender. That might not be so uncomfortable if we could limit drones to hot war zones. But the fact that our targets hide where soldiers aren't actively fighting opens a new can of worms.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re al-Awlaki on 10/20/2013 09:49:33 MDT Print View

and the bad thing is it's easier to wage war now because we can do it without risking U.S. military people

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Jerry on 10/20/2013 10:12:38 MDT Print View

That is a good point. Its easier to send in a drone then a Marine unit so presidents can get careless.

Personally I think drones are great, we just need to rethink the moral and legal limits to using them. For example the president can order military action for a certain amount of time (I think its up to 60 days but don't quote me) then he needs congressional approval to continue. That used to be an okay but wars have changed, you can do lot more in 60 days. I think that needs to be changed to 10 days or less before congressional approval and add a clause that congress has to authorize drone strikes. Something along those lines would rebalance things a bit and put a lid on bad ideas.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re Jerry on 10/20/2013 10:27:57 MDT Print View

hmmm

maybe it's a myth that liberals and conservatives can't agree with each other

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Jerry on 10/20/2013 10:37:50 MDT Print View

"maybe it's a myth that liberals and conservatives can't agree with each other"

haha I've enjoyed watching both sides make each other's arguments.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: al-Awlaki on 10/20/2013 15:49:40 MDT Print View

> > "How the war is fought is a minor almost irrelevant matter compared to the decision
> > to go to war."
> Normally I more or less agree with a lot of things you say...but in relation to the
> above tell that to the Japanese after they were bombed with nuclear weapons.

Dresden was wiped from the face of the earth - but it was Nazi Germany which went to war. Did wiping Dresden help end WW II and reduce overall casualties? Probably.
Hiroshima was wiped - but it was Japan which went to war. Did bombing Hiroshima help end the war in the Pacific and reduce overall casualties? Very likely.
But in both cases the casualties were very high.

al-Awlaki or bin-Ladin thought they could wage terrorism against one country and yet be safe by hiding in another. They found out otherwise. Tough. But at least with drones far, far fewer people (collateral) get killed. Is that an improvement?

ALL WAR IS PRETTY GHASTLY. Face it, accept it, and get on with life. And tell the pollies to stop grandstanding on the world stage pretending they have the right to act as global sherrifs.

Cheers

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: al-Awlaki on 10/20/2013 16:35:00 MDT Print View

" But at least with drones far, far fewer people (collateral) get killed. Is that an improvement?" Probably, with the caveats that those currently on the receiving end have long memories, drone technology is rapidly becoming widely disseminated, and, as always, what goes around comes around.

"ALL WAR IS PRETTY GHASTLY. Face it, accept it, and get on with life."

A hard reality that the civilian population of the US has been sheltered from, with the exception of the South during our civil war. If they ever have to suffer the way countless other civilian populations have suffered down thru the centuries, perhaps our pollies will be forced to cease their Wyatt Earp grandstanding in other countries and there will be no further need for drones or any of the other diabolical goodies that we waste so much brainpower devising, thereby depriving us of precious talent that could be far better employed solving not only our own problems, but those of humaity at large.

"And tell the pollies to stop grandstanding on the world stage pretending they have the right to act as global sherrifs."

+1 Patience, Roger. IMO, it won't take too many more hard lessons for the American public to figure that out, if their reaction to Obama's threat to bomb Syria is any indication. As
Churchill once commented: America can always be counted on to do the right thing; after it has exhausted all the alternatives". ;0)

scree ride
(scree)
Re: Re: Re Jerry on 10/20/2013 16:59:40 MDT Print View

They can even be the same person.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re Re Re Re Re Re al-Awlaki on 10/20/2013 19:10:36 MDT Print View

"Personally I think drones are great, we just need to rethink the moral and legal limits to using them."

Perhaps we should rethink the moral and legal limits of war.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re Re Re Re Re Re al-Awlaki on 10/21/2013 17:25:32 MDT Print View

"Perhaps we should rethink the moral and legal limits of war."

+1

The rub lies in deciding who gets to do the rethinking.