Drones in the Military

Discuss events that have an impact on you and the world today. A home for honest, serious, and open discussion.

Drones in the Military

Unread postby James » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:48 pm

What are your thoughts on military drones?
For example, the United States' Predator Drone

I know it is a hot topic and there are those who are adamantly opposed to or in favor of them, but they definitely seem have significant upsides to them if war is—sadly—taken as a given, and downsides in that, for example, the United States uses them to wage wars that are not 'wars'.
Kongming’s Archives – Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel, History and Games
“ They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
  — Ben Franklin
User avatar
James
Sausaged Fish
Sausaged Fish
 
Posts: 17999
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2002 3:21 pm
Location: Happy Valley, UT

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:48 pm

As a basic concept? Fine with them. How they are used? That is more of a problem.

1) a strike with a drone in a sovereign state doesn't seem "count" whereas I'm not sure the US would launch conventional bombing raids on other nations. At least not that many but for some reason, using drones doesn't count as a violation. It seems odd that it isn't viewed as a military act.

2) It seems to be used assassinations but given the bomb element of it, also going to lead to collateral damage.

3) Once they are get used then they seem to get used again and again and again. Once one set of key targets or infrastructure is taken out, then there is suddenly the need to take out a new set and then another one and then another. It won't be the first and won't be the last time something gets over-used and the army doesn't know to say no to itself.
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 17034
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:29 pm

James wrote:What are your thoughts on military drones?
For example, the United States' Predator Drone

I know it is a hot topic and there are those who are adamantly opposed to or in favor of them, but they definitely seem have significant upsides to them if war is—sadly—taken as a given, and downsides in that, for example, the United States uses them to wage wars that are not 'wars'.



I am all for the responsible and proportionate use of drones to the variety of situations we're facing in different theatres. I do not think they are all fix-all, as the media often portrays then. While I do endorse their use, there are unintended consequences (collateral damage) and mistakes are made. I also find their use to be preferable to the use conventional military measures (or invasions) of the places where our enemies chose to plot and execute attacks from.

I also understand that drones aren't popular, no where more so than in the countries where we deploy them. Whether or not that is entirely due to the unfortunate by-products (or sometimes American carelessness) or over-arching feelings about their 'sovereignty' I'm not all together sure of.
User avatar
Shikanosuke
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 4388
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:22 am
Location: US

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby bodidley » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:44 pm

The main issue is that drones are seen as more sanitary because there's no pilot at risk. But killing people is not sanitary. If you bomb someone from afar you're more likely to kill people who weren't the desired target, and you don't give the target a chance to surrender. I think their nature makes them generally merciless and indiscriminate, although they do have a limited capacity to observe what's going on on the ground. Those are useful characteristics on a battlefield but not very good in a place that isn't a battlefield. Frankly it's cowardly to slaughter an entire family in a building for the sake of not risking a life to apprehend the one person who is targeted. Those are the kinds of tactics terrorists use, blowing up hotels to assassinate someone.
"We can't mortgage our childrens' future on a mountain of debt," - Barack Obama
bodidley
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:33 am
Location: I'm an everywhere man

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:54 am

bodidley wrote:The main issue is that drones are seen as more sanitary because there's no pilot at risk. But killing people is not sanitary. If you bomb someone from afar you're more likely to kill people who weren't the desired target, and you don't give the target a chance to surrender. I think their nature makes them generally merciless and indiscriminate, although they do have a limited capacity to observe what's going on on the ground. Those are useful characteristics on a battlefield but not very good in a place that isn't a battlefield.


I fail to see how drones are indiscriminate, if you're using the term to mean 'at random'. Its true they're less accurate when you don't have eyes on the ground, but they're essentially piloted.

Frankly it's cowardly to slaughter an entire family in a building for the sake of not risking a life to apprehend the one person who is targeted. Those are the kinds of tactics terrorists use, blowing up hotels to assassinate someone.
[/quote]

And the same tactics may be used by non-drone airpower or ground troops as well. It isn't exclusive to drones by any means, and I would assume its attempted to get these people alone.
Last edited by Shikanosuke on Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Shikanosuke
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 4388
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:22 am
Location: US

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby Boydie » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:25 pm

I imagine this type of tech will replace fighter pilots at some point in the future, they'll be able to make these drones faster and more agile than ever before, with greater payloads. Since the human body can only take so much punishment from the G's they'll be able to achieve. Quite a scary thought if you're a ground target or a fighter pilot.

The UK currently use them as reconnaissance only in Afghanistan and to patrol territorial waters, also the police force use them too.

But the Royal Air Force is in development of the first jet powered stealth drone, it had it's first test flight a few months ago, I've seen it, it's massive for a drone, it's designed to hit targets deep inside enemy territory while evading their defences. I've posted a video if it's first test flight below.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10619378/Successful-test-flight-for-Taranis-stealth-drone.html
User avatar
Boydie
Academic
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:47 pm
Location: In your closet.

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby bodidley » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:59 pm

Shikanosuke wrote: but they're essentially piloted.


I would also argue that airstrikes without ground observation, and even with ground observation are also highly indiscriminate. By indiscriminate I mean they don't discriminate between civilians and combatants. If you can see with your own two eyes from up close, you don't really know what you're shooting at. If you're receiving fire, then you at least know where the enemy is. But even so, if you bombard a village to kill fighters inside, you're going to kill innocent people. It's usually pretty stupid to use so much firepower in operations that are essential police-type actions. It's makes much more sense to trap and detain people on the ground. It's not like you're expecting overwhelming forces to come and surround you while you do.

Which brings us to another issue with the U.S. drone campaign: one of the primary reasons drones are being used is that the U.S. doesn't have permission to operate on the ground in those countries or doesn't trust the local governments with the job. It would be outrageous to start a piloted bombing campaign without respecting national sovereignty. That being said, Pakistan used to allow the drone campaign because it had plausible deniability with its public, and who knows if it doesn't still have a secret agreement with the U.S.
"We can't mortgage our childrens' future on a mountain of debt," - Barack Obama
bodidley
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:33 am
Location: I'm an everywhere man

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby bodidley » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:05 pm

Boydie wrote:I imagine this type of tech will replace fighter pilots at some point in the future, they'll be able to make these drones faster and more agile than ever before, with greater payloads. Since the human body can only take so much punishment from the G's they'll be able to achieve. Quite a scary thought if you're a ground target or a fighter pilot.


It's possible. But you have to consider that the main issue with drones is their reaction times are constrained by communication between the pilot (that's what they're called) on the ground and the aircraft, which can be a surprisingly long time. Another thing to think about is that the human body can already withstand the amount of gravitational force involved in space travel, so how many more Gs can you really expect from an aircraft that has to operate in a controllable manner within the atmosphere?
"We can't mortgage our childrens' future on a mountain of debt," - Barack Obama
bodidley
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:33 am
Location: I'm an everywhere man

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:07 pm

bodidley wrote:
Shikanosuke wrote: but they're essentially piloted.


I would also argue that airstrikes without ground observation, and even with ground observation are also highly indiscriminate.


Alright, well I guess we shouldn't use airpower to accomplish military goals?

By indiscriminate I mean they don't discriminate between civilians and combatants.


They don't? I've never heard of missiles being fire-willy nilly into heavily populated areas with no attempt at trying to figure out who is there and who is not.

If you can see with your own two eyes from up close, you don't really know what you're shooting at. If you're receiving fire, then you at least know where the enemy is. But even so, if you bombard a village to kill fighters inside, you're going to kill innocent people.


I haven't heard of drones being used against wholesale villages ,or used in mass. That is actually the opposite of what they're being used for.

It's usually pretty stupid to use so much firepower in operations that are essential police-type actions.


I've never heard of police taking on missions to seek and kill a target. Police actions are typically to capture and detain a subject to answer for a crime. Drones are used, per the memo if i recall, when it is determined that attempts at arresting and capturing a target is not possible.

It's makes much more sense to trap and detain people on the ground. It's not like you're expecting overwhelming forces to come and surround you while you do.


Yes, it would be nice if we could fly all over the world and swoop down and pick them up. But that is not feasible.

Which brings us to another issue with the U.S. drone campaign: one of the primary reasons drones are being used is that the U.S. doesn't have permission to operate on the ground in those countries or doesn't trust the local governments with the job. It would be outrageous to start a piloted bombing campaign without respecting national sovereignty. That being said, Pakistan used to allow the drone campaign because it had plausible deniability with its public, and who knows if it doesn't still have a secret agreement with the U.S.


Yes they are. We don't let enemies lie in territories just because of boundaries. How that relates therefore to launching a full airforce campaign, i'm not really certain.
User avatar
Shikanosuke
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 4388
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:22 am
Location: US

Re: Drones in the Military

Unread postby bodidley » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:29 pm

You've never heard of Dresden? You've never heard of Guantanamo? Since the "War on Terror" started literally tens of thousands of people have been detained by on the ground operations. And yes, you shouldn't use air power to obtain your goals when the goal does not fit its use. Not to mention the fact that the wider struggle with Al-Qaeda is not purely military but is a policing and political operation.

A Predator drone fires a hellfire missile, which is a very destructive projectile, and there are plenty of cases of dozens or more people going out with the target. Not to mention the fact that there is simply no way to positively identify an individual with the aircraft itself. In 2002 we took out a tall guy on a mountain because he kinda sort looked like he might be bin Laden. The countries we're operating in have armed forces and police, and even diplomatic relations with the United States. There are plenty of countries in which the Special Operation, the CIA and the FBI work together with local authorities on the ground with the consent of the government.

I haven't said there's never a situation in which one might use an unmanned aircraft. However, the idea that there are no alternatives and the blasé attitude towards the way in which they are used is the whole problem connected to them, which is what I was arguing earlier.
"We can't mortgage our childrens' future on a mountain of debt," - Barack Obama
bodidley
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:33 am
Location: I'm an everywhere man

Next

Return to Current Affairs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved

 
cron