Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #250 5/15/2012

#250 - Drones (Watt Thoughts)

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we have seen an increased use of drones by the United States. They are being used in Yemen now also and Pakistan. Originally the drones were for surveillance and then they started dropping bombs with them.

The big advantage to them is that they could be flown over hostile areas and not risk humans lives in flying them. They are controlled basically from the United states. This has worked to be able to do some pin point bombing of specific targets typically being of specific people the government was searching for.

This has sounded neat to many people in that warfare has become bloodless for the United States in these. However it is working on that what the planes are sending back as images to control center and that people are reporting on the ground is accurate. Although usually we hit the intended target sometimes there are others there (civilians) and sometimes the wrong target. This makes the United States more disliked. but when goes right it is usually seems to be accepted.

The scary part of drones is that they will not just be used by the United States but will be used by others. Right now we claim to be only ones with the technology but we know everyone else is working on them. Iran shot down one last year and has shown off and claims they are building one from it. Why the controller of it did not blow it up after it was hit has never been explained. Whether Iran has one now or not, they and others like China will in the near future. How are we going to feel when some other nation flies them over or near us?

Now they are beginning to be used by governments in the United States. Initially it was for increased security on the border to watch it more carefully and to catch illegal crossers. That raised suspicions with people on the border of the government watching them, but was offset with feeling we have a better secured border, Now the FAA is approving drones to be used by local police department for surveillance. The question is rapidly being raised and will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court of whether we have any rights to privacy outside our dwellings. The argument will be made that it is similar to already used piloted planes to watch for stuff like drug crops and other type activities. I have questions in my mind if I want these pilot-less planes flying around u there watching. The issue also becomes a safety issue of who is responsible when drones are in accidents. As we put more in the air the more likely we will have an accident with other aircraft. Remember not everything in the air has files a flight plan and that there is a lot of stuff in the air. Not only do we have large number of planes, but balloons are floating around and experimental aircraft. The controller of these drones can affect us all.

We need to have some public discussion on how these are used and if we really want to move to warfare by remote control, remembering it could come back to haunt us. I can see (but hope do not happen) the terrorists being able to use drones in some way against us. The Obama administration has gone heavily to using drones I fear because it makes war just seem like a video game and and not seeming to risk our people. Bush used them some but not to the extent that Obama is using them. I hope it is an issue we see discussed in the current campaign.



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