Unmanned Drones Research Paper

With wings straight and long as that of a Ta-152 carrying the most lethal rocket propelled tubes with laser guidance systems and it’s propeller on the rear are these war-bird produced by General Atomics where the line should be drawn? In the Bronze Age the average sword length was between 60cm and 80cm. Approximately 3000 years later in the middle age the most common sword was the longsword. The blade length of the average long sword alone exceeded the length of a whole Bronze Age sword. M3 75mm was an anti tank gun, used on the M4 Sherman during WWII. This gun could penetrate 100mm of armor at 100 meters.

M1 76mm was an improved version of its predecessor and it could penetrate the same thickness of armor at 1200 meters. It’s not a coincidence that humanity has always worked to develop weapons that are able engage the enemy from a greater distance. There’s nothing wrong with developing new technology; and no tool is inherently good or bad. The General Atomics MQ-1 and MQ-9 aka “drone”, unmanned aerial vehicles serving in the USAF since 1994 and 2001, are simply the next steps in the evolution of weaponry. Drones have plentiful advantages to manned airstrikes ranging from cost effectiveness to not putting its operator at risk.

Since drones carry the same ordnance as manned aircraft; treating an individual drone strike any different than an individual manned fighter/bomber airstrike would simply be irrational. Be that as it may, drone strikes conducted by the US and the US drone program paint a different picture. Although drones are no different than their counterparts in the role that they play; drones require tight regulations due to the fact that their unique advantages and conveniences are not mutually excusive to each other. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles aka. ‘Drones’ are superior to manned aerial vehicles in varied categories.

As the classification implies UAVs do not require a person inside the vehicle to be able to operate. The fact that drones can be remote controlled from thousands of miles away makes drones an absolute convenience as drones operators do not require physical training and their lives are never at risk. Correspondingly the risk of a drone pilot getting PTSD is 4%, a low figure in contrast to a fighter pilot, which is 12-17%. Furthermore, drones cost 6 to 42 times less per hour to operate compared to conventional methods and cost 6 times less to produce compared to F35s.

In other words America’s Drone Program “constitutes 1% of the entire military budget”. The fact that drones are relatively superior tools doesn’t render irresponsible use of said tool justifiable. Simply not qualifying as a civilian according to US standards doesn’t strip away an individual’s inalienable right to live. This is where the failure of the drone program and The Obama Administration comes in. The Obama Administration contends that drones have “strong oversight” and “only [target] terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people”; although there is credible evidence that suggest otherwise.

Between 2004 and 2012 only 2% of people killed from drone strikes were high-level operators, reports a CNN article from 2012. This can be explained by the simple fact that drone strikes are “often carried out based on faulty intelligence”; The Pentagon admits in 2013; which aptly coincides with a study, conducted the very same year that finds “nearly 90% of those killed by US drones were not intended targets during five-month span”.

Furthermore an article titled “The Drone Papers” by The Intercept based on classified documents reveal that between January 2012 and February 2013, drone strikes targeting 35 people killed more than 200; furthermore demonstrating how drones fail at targeting the right people and how not being the target doesn’t disqualify someone from receiving a Hellfire missile. The Intercept reveals that they obtained the classified documents through an anonymous informant.

Another report titled “HAYMAKER Operations (1 May – 15 Sep 2012)” reveal that of the 174 people killed from 27 operations conducted during the time interval almost 9 out of 10 were not the intended targets. Although drones could only manage to strike their target 10% of the time; the report shows a success rate of 70%. This is because the program calculates it’s success rate by dividing the number of targets killed by the number of operations and completely ignores collateral damage caused by the drone strikes.

This lack of care for human life furthermore demonstrates the Machiavellian mentality of the drone program. It is evident that The Obama Administrations assertion that the drone program has “strong oversight” is a stretch of the truth. A Huffington Post report from November 2015 based on interview with Michael Haas, an ex-drone instructor, reveals how under The Obama Administration the quality of personnel went down and the program grew more Machiavellian.

Haas tells how one time he was forced by his superiors to pass a student who he had initially failed who said he would act if people on the ground “looked up to no good. ” He remarks that people in the program call children “fun size terrorists” and “tits (terrorists in training)” and said “one motto was that you have to cut the grass before it grows too tall. ” International law states, “The targeted individual must pose an imminent threat that only lethal force can prevent. ; since both children and people who ‘look up to no good do not fall under this category targeting either violates international law.

The fact that high-level personnel in the program not only ignore but also condone the violation of international law questions The Obama Administration’s contention that the program has “strong oversight”. “Drones are very good at killing people. ” Haas remarks, “That’s where the controversy comes in, they’re good at killing people, just not the right ones. It is evident that drones are the next step in evolution of weaponry and it’s irrational to refuse to new technology. However that doesn’t mean that its irrational to refuse certain uses of said technology. Drones are cheaper to operate and do not put the operators life at risk. There is nothing wrong with that and it is a step in the direction of the same vector of years of weapon development.

Be that as it may, all the evidence leads me to the conclusion that the reason the US drone program is conducting large numbers of drone strikes which end up killing large numbers of non targets, with no regard to the repercussions is because drones cost less per hour to operate. The intelligence based on which drone strikes are conducted is often faulty and correspondingly drone strikes end up killing large numbers of non-targets. To compensate for the faulty intelligence The US drone program conducts large numbers drone strikes.

This is unacceptable because it results in massive numbers of non-target casualties. It is evident that the US drone program does not care about the repercussions of its actions, hence the Machiavellian mentality mentioned above. Under these circumstances the use of drones should come to a halt until drones can accurately target and neutralize people who are legal to target under international law. Or just maybe, the intelligence isn’t faulty as the public is lead to believe and it’s a cover. Isn’t apologizing better than asking for permission after all?