Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Revisiting death from above

On July 2011 we started this blog with a post on the first reported use of drones to carry out a selective killing (an euphemism for a summary execution) by the US navy in Somalia. In Targeted killings and "surgical interventions", the automation of death (which we have updated with new material and info distributed through @OnadaExpansiva) we gathered more than a few stories on how unmanned aerial vehicles were gradually becoming the weapon of choice in the so called war on terror, most specially in those areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan (i.e West Waziristan) where Islamic militant groups seemed to hold territory.
 SourcePakistani family gives Congress an unprecedented account of effect of CIA drone attacks on their community Rupert Cornwell   The Independent October 30th 2013
Four years later, drones have become a regular feature in the different theaters where the US  and other western countries (notably France and the United Kingdom)  have intervened (surgically, yet another euphemism) or are waging wars by proxy as would be the case in Somalia, Mali or more recently swaths of Syria and Iraq.  Even though criticisms regarding eventual collateral damage (there is nothing collateral in the death of civilians) has grown and serious ethical and moral concerns have been raised the military use of drones shows no signs of abating in the foreseeable future. What is more worrisome, stalled discussions regarding the control of  production and use of fully autonomous weapons (known as killer robots) could spell the next step towards indiscriminate carnage in battlefields and beyond

From @OnadaExpansiva