Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Drone-Pandora Connection (and I'm not talking about music)

The headline today says "U.S. looks to export drone technology to allies." What's wrong with this picture?

As someone who looks on in amazement as the United States wrings its hands over the nuclear ambitions of small fry like Iran, I once again find it amazing that we don't recognize the problems we are creating as we open the door to yet another new technology.

No matter how you feel about the inherent challenges posed by drone technology . . . whether or not you recognize that drone attacks resulting in innocent deaths are an enormous ethical and practical problem . . . whether or not you are concerned that even "successful" drone attacks constitute extrajudicial executions (i.e. are war crimes) and are not "self-defense" as claimed by the Obama Administration . . . whether or not you care about the simple surveillance implications of drone use . . . doesn't it seem like a good idea to SLOW DOWN with the proliferation of drone technology? Lest we end up regretting it later?

We have a lot of headaches because of the Pandora's box we've opened with nuclear weapons technology. Shouldn't we avoid opening a Pandora's box with drone technology?

Related posts

Beyond recognizing the inherent contradictions of "pre-emptive violence," we must confront an urgent problem related to technology: the automation of "pre-emptive violence" -- e.g. via drone technology -- is leading to a spiral (or "loop" or "recursive process") that we may not be able to get out of.

(See When "Pre-emptive Violence" Is Automated ....)

Today, it may seem quaint to think about the role that trains played in the cataclysms of the 20th century. Could something as simple as a bunch of trains, once set in motion, possibly put people on a course they couldn't reverse? And yet . . . what if I told you that the hyper-organized planners of the U.S. government have a timetable to make 100 drone bases operational in our country in the near future?

(See War By (Drone Base) Timetable? )

The United States is very good at starting things . . . but seldom considers three moves ahead, much less how it will all end. Drones are a case in point. Now people are starting to talk about the problem of global drone proliferation.

(See GLOBAL DRONE PROLIFERATION: How does this end? )