Drones and technology are going to change the face of modern conflict. But, will that affect how law and order is enforced? Additionally how will society in general, be affected?
Even a cursury look at UK air strike data, since 2017, shows that UK drones have been used far more often to attack persons on the ground in Iraq and Syria than other strike aircraft, (like the Tornado or the Typhoon).
Analysis of reports published by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the two years up until September 2019 show Reaper drones launched (67%) of the 110 strikes at ISIS fighters in the open while other aircraft were used far more often to launch attacks on buildings, fighting positions, strong-points and other infrastructure.
Half of all Reaper drone attacks (51%) were targeted at individuals on the ground compared to just 10% of Tornado and Typhoon strikes. Altogether, Reapers launched 29% of the UK’s strikes in this two-year period, which is a fairly substantial percentage.
Reaper Drone being loaded with munitions
A total of 499 UK air attacks on specific targets have been identified from the reports published by the MoD which we have broken down in to 20 categories including ‘buildings’; ‘positions’, ‘armed truck’; ‘fighters; ‘heavy weapons’ and so forth.
It is clear drones are more likely to have been used to target persons on the ground compared to other aircraft due to the nature of the aircraft.
Generally drones are much slower than fast jets such as Tornado and Typhoon, and because of this they tend to be sent to one area and operate in that specific location. By contrast fighter jets tend to move around much more during their missions ranging over hundreds of miles. At the same time, Reapers stay in the air far longer than other aircraft, meaning that they loiter in this one area, watching compounds or individuals, looking for ‘targets of opportunity’.
The MoD continues to insist that its Reaper drones are ‘primarily used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance’. Given how long the Reapers are in the air this may be true, but the statement hides the fact that the Reapers are carrying out many attacks on the UK’s behalf. This suggests a trend.
If we look further back, Figures from 2017 found there were ten times more air strikes in the ‘war on terror’ during President Obama’s presidency than under his predecessor, George W. Bush. This was predominantly by drones.
Obama has enthusiactically adopted the drone programme, here, overseeing more strikes in his first year than Bush carried out during his entire presidency! A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to the 57 strikes under Bush. Between 384 and 807 civilians were killed in those countries, according to reports logged by the Bureau Of Investigative Journalism.
The Obama administration in defence insisted here that drones are incredibly precise and that they pick off terror suspects while not putting “innocent men, women and children in danger”. I suppose it depends on your definition of ‘terror suspects’ and innocent civilians as to how effective this is.
But it’s not just civilians, it’s any target deemed to be counter to the established state. On 2nd January 2020 the New York Times reported that Iran’s top security and intelligence commander was killed in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport. It was authorized by President Trump, officials said.
General Suleimani was one of the chief leaders of an effort to protect President Bashar al-Assad of Syria — an important Iranian ally, he brought together disparate militias, national security forces and regional powers, including Russia, in recent years.
In killing General Suleimani, Mr. Trump took an action that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama had rejected! A further proof of the escalation of this protocol in recent times.
The recent dispute between Azerbajan and Armenia was over in just six weeks, as outlined in the video here thanks, largely to the use of ‘Kamikaze’ and ‘Bayraktar’ drones, Israeli and Turkish respectively. This six weeks of fierce fighting has left thousands dead and wounded. It is only the second time since WWII that a side has surrendered, and decisively so, in a war!
It seems drones are the future, controlled from the safety, for the operators, from a distant HQ.
And now our illustrious leader, Bungling Boris (a million miles from his hero Churchill, tweeted ‘The defence of the realm is the first duty of government.’ Well, both he and Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary, seem to have left the borders open, seeing as how many dinghies are breaching the English channel, but thats another story
Here is the link to the gov.uk statement here
The conservatives, in line with their leader dutifully followed up tweeting
Note that it makes no mention of increasing military strength and capability though. Perhaps the 10,000 jobs are in computer ‘experts’ to programme the fleet of drones, a result of the record R & D he alao announced?
So are drone strikes to be the future of warfare? Perhaps no more soldiers, no more men with rifles, no more men (and women)of valor on battlefields, no more heroes like Nelson ? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2516810/Nelson-voted-greatest-British-military-hero-of-all-time.html
This paves the way for soldiers to be replaced by machines designed to kill, all of which are maintained and controlled by geeks who probably have never seen action. It is referred to ‘The Heat Of War’ for a reason. Will this be good for a nation’s pride? For a nations identity? To see their armed forces replaced by machines like a scene from Robocop?
As conventional armies of men are replaced by drones and robots, does this further tip the scales in favour of a globalist centralised government, capable of financing armies of drones that would take control of their political destiny? We may never know if we get targeted by drones or the local RoboCop as dissidents.
Main image taken from I Robot https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0343818/
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