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Drone wars: The temptation of automated conflict [View All]

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The Northerner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 04:38 PM
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Drone wars: The temptation of automated conflict
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Iran is claiming that it shot down a U.S. spy drone. Missile kills drone. This is the future of warfare, where technology fights technology.

Automated conflict is so tempting today. After a decade of costly and ineffective traditional wars that involved troops on the ground and cost a fortune, these drone wars can look pretty tame (and cheap) by comparison.

Even the diplomatic consequences of the U.S. drone being shot down by Iran do not seem that grave, despite Iranian posturing. There is no military prisoner captured. It will scarcely create the kind of international crisis caused by the Russians shooting down U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers in 1960.

Or will it? Human beings are still involved, and where there are human beings, unpredictability and the possibility of conflict surely will follow. At a time when we need to be doing everything we can to talk the Iranians down from their nuclear ambitions, what did this drone actually cost the world in terms of future conflict? If that future is nuclear, then it will cost us immeasurably.

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