Video War


Politics, Charities

by Maria on 05.09.2008 - 01:26  

I read this article and this one in Slate a while back, and they have been needling me ever since. The articles are about drones that the military uses. They are remote controlled weapons. The military has worked with video game technicians and programmers to make the experience, well, more video game-like. I find this concept so much more scary than cloning or gene therapy or any of the other 'scary' technologies that are currently being explored. How can anyone understand the ramifications of what they are doing, if killing just looks like a video game?

Both articles brings up lots of good points about how scary it is to have combat military that doesn't truly see the damage that it is doing, so I won't go into that, except for one point. Since other countries are developing the same technology, it seems that future wars could be fought by people that are hidden away in various locations, while the countries at war are blown to smithereens. And to the people fighting, it will all be video images.

But here is some more food for thought:

I have no idea what the range of these things are currently, but one can imagine that it won't take too long before they can be very long range. And if they aren't already small enough to go undetected by radar, one can also imagine that not being far away. The damage that a terrorist could do with a drone, once the range is large and the size is small, would be incredible. And, it is hard to imagine any border control that could do much about it.

I realize that we will never get rid of terrorism completely, but clearly we need to start really dealing with the breeding grounds, and the rampant growth of terrorism. We need to attack the root causes of people choosing to become terrorists, because the weapons that they can get a hold of are only going to get more sophisticated and scary. According to one of the Slate articles France, Germany, Greece, India, the Philippines, Russia, even Switzerland are all building or buying drones; soon enough, someone will start selling them to terrorists. I think Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea) is on the right track, and I would encourage everyone to donate whatever they can to help his organization, the Central Asia Institute. It is imperative that we do all in our power to promote peace, so I hope that everyone reading this will take a look at his work. From the CAI website: "The best hope for a peaceful and prosperous world lies in the education of all the world's children."

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