The Changing Face of War Impact of Drones On Society and WarfareTechnology, society and global dominance(cultural, economic and military)
Background Analysis by an American think tank The Brookings Institution on drone attacks in Pakistan has shown that for every militant leader killed, 10 civilians also have died.The use of armed drones United States has beenby the United States in using drones in PakistanAfghanistan and Pakistan and other countries tohas increased massively, assassinate “terroristwith 131 drone strikes leaders.”reported in northwestPakistan alone since 2004,of which a quarter took Singapore has recentlyplace in the first five invested in High Speedmonths of 2010. Aerial Target Drones
What are Drones? • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) • Controlled from the ground or autonomous following a pre- programmed mission • Used for combat, reconnaissance and surveillance purposes
‘Technology generallyevolves much more quickly than the laws of war.’(P.W. Singer - Brookings Institution)
1. Laws of war has not caught up with technologyNo precedent or rule exists for theplacement of responsibility Militaries operate with little heed to the actual consequences
Keith Shurtleff, an army chaplain and ethics instructor at FortJackson, South Carolina worries “that as war becomes saferand easier, as soldiers are removed from the horrors of warand see the enemy not as humans but as blips on a screen,there is very real danger of losing the deterrent that suchhorrors provide.” Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield highlights: ‘The further away you are, the easier it is to kill…it’s changing the nature of war dramatically’
2.Society’s changing view of war and bloodshed• “Sanitising” the act of killing• Society and soldiers desensitized to the costs and effects of war• War and bloodshed = entertainment?
3. Potential economic implications • Growth of military- industrial complex • Defense contractors grow in power and influence
4. How drone warfare affects the current political distribution of power• Manpower used to be significant in determining the power of a military or a nation• Technological and financial capacity are now determinants of a powerful military force
5. Risk to society• Vulnerable to loss of signal or a power surge• Vulnerable to exploitation like hacking.
Drone warfare’s newlyimpersonal qualities may changeour view of war or change theworld’s balance of power as weknow it Key takeaway messages “The idea that slick, new weapons will solve human conflict is an old and enduring myth. In truth, violence will not bring an end to violence.”