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View Diary: Dabbling in terror and targeting Americans a bad career move under this President... (99 comments)

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  •  I think the difference is a practical one (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, SilentBrook, JamesGG

    A manned airplane involves risk to the pilot. A drone involves risk to no American. I think this means that drone missions go forward much more easily than manned missions...which may mean that we "pull the trigger" with drones when maybe we shouldn't.

    •  I don't find that argument very compelling... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, elmo

      ...as a reason for being more concerned about drones than about the decision-making process overall.

      None of the drone strikes that come to my mind took place in a territory where there is any question that America has complete control over air power.

      While there is definitely more human risk involved in sending in a manned jet bomber rather than a drone, since there's a person in there instead of not, the risk of the plane being shot down (as opposed to an accidental crash) doesn't seem very high to me.

      Additionally, it seems to me that the risk of the drones' technology—particularly whatever encryption protocols, etc. it uses to send and receive signals—falling into the hands of the enemy should the drone go down is in itself a pretty substantial risk.

      I may be wrong, but I don't think that the risk differential between manned and unmanned aircraft is sufficient enough in the situations in which drones are being used that it makes an impact on the overall go/no-go decision, such that the decision becomes "we wouldn't send in a piloted plane, but we'll send in a drone."

      It seems to me that what needs more oversight and accountability is the decision to send in any kind of lethal force, more than which kind of lethal force to send in.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:06:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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