Posted by: mulrickillion | October 5, 2011

DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA: Sex and the single drone

By Tom Engelhardt, Asia Times, Oct 1, 2011 —

In the world of weaponry, they are the sexiest things around. Others countries are desperate to have them. Almost anyone who writes about them becomes a groupie. Reporters exploring their onrushing future swoon at their potentially wondrous techno-talents. They are the pilotless drones, our grimly named Predators and Reapers.

As Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, Leon Panetta called them "the only game in town". As secretary of defense Robert Gates pushed hard to up their numbers and increase their funding drastically. The US Air Force is already training more personnel to become drone "pilots" than to pilot actual planes. You don’t need it in skywriting to know that, as icons of American-style war, they are clearly in our future – and they’re even heading for the homeland as police departments clamor for them.

They are relatively cheap. When they "hunt", no one dies (at least on our side). They are capable of roaming the world. Someday, they will land on the decks of aircraft carriers or, tiny as hummingbirds, drop onto a windowsill, maybe even yours, or in their hundreds, the size of bees, swarm to targets and, if all goes well, coordinate their actions using the artificial intelligence version of "hive minds."

"The drone," writes Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service, "has increasingly become the [Obama] administration’s ‘weapon of choice’ in its efforts to subdue al-Qaeda and its affiliates". . . .

Asia Times Online: DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA: Sex and the single drone

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