• How Drone War Became the American Way of War

    February 24, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Military

    Americans are having a love affair with drones, those robot assassins of the modern age. They’ve been touted in the media as the shiniest presents under the American Christmas tree of war.

    TomDispatch tells us more about how we evolved into a country without much purpose abroad beyond targeted killing with our robots:

    Put drones in a more familiar context, skip the awestruck commentary, and they should have been eerily familiar. We should have known that remotely piloted vehicles were heading toward us these last four decades, that they were, in fact, the most natural form of war for the All Volunteer Military (and the demobilized American public that went with it).

    Go back to one of the most momentous, if underrated and little considered, decisions of the “American Century” — the decision, in the wake of Vietnam, to sever the military from potentially unruly draftees and create an all-professional army, while not backing down from the American global mission. The amateurs, a democratic citizenry, were demobilized, sent home, and sidelined as a new American way of war was launched that would grow ever more remote (as in “remotely piloted vehicle”) from most Americans, while corporations, not citizens, would be mobilized for our new wars.

    Although early drone technology was already being used over North Vietnam, it’s in another sense entirely that drones have been heading into America’s future since 1973. There was an eerie logic to it: first came professional war, then privatized war, then mercenary and outsourced war — all of which made war ever more remote from most Americans. Finally, both literally and figuratively, came remote war itself.

    Read the whole article now on TomDispatch.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Kenneth Rosen said...


      Just heard you on Maine Public Radio–I must have read that piece in the NYTimes because the story of the sheik rounding up the chickens was familiar. Meanwhile, what struck me, almost an aside, was your remark that your former boss in Iraq is the present U.S. ambassador to Syria, i.e., some who understands that the path to a stable democracy is business and the development of a proper and fertile business climate is the unrestricted flood of taxpayer dollars. Fox News’ account of the current Friends of Syria meeting in Tunisia offered this startling and transparent vade mecum for decoding the Iraq war-Arab Spring continuum:

      “The plan is also designed to signal Russia and China that their continued support of Assad could leave them out of business and diplomatic opportunities in what the group hopes will be a new Syria.”

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/02/24/friends-syria-to-assad-immediate-cease-fire-or-face-new-punishment/#ixzz1nKNbz4yW

      02/24/12 7:24 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...


      i read in a gun magazine that we’ve fired 11,000 hellfire missiles from drones since day 1 of the pwot.
      pls don’t ask what a gun mag is doing with drone discussions. i guess it’s just logical since we have now developed guided bullets. this was also in a magazine.
      maybe i need to start reading hustler.
      jim at rangeragainstwar

      02/25/12 1:06 PM | Comment Link

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