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Unmanned aircraft are the new cornerstone of modern military operations, and both American and British crews are learning to fly them at a New Mexico Air Force base. There, they must tackle the practical questions of what it means to wage war from afar.
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37 comments
 
of cowards, mice and little men ... or, on how to fight when you haven't got the balls to man-up!
 
It has more to do with reduced long-term deployment cost rather than cowardice on the pilots' part, +Patrick O'Brien. I can't say I'm happy about the country being at war, but I wouldn't suggest for a second that those who signed up to fight are cowards because they're being trained to use new(ish) technology.
 
+Patrick O'Brien So I guess in ancient times the development of the bow and arrow was considered cowardice too. Ranged military units have been with us from the dawn of mankind and used to great effect by all the best military minds. Technology may advance, but the basic premise remains unchanged.

"Artillery adds dignity, to what would otherwise be an ugly brawl" - Frederick the Great, king of Germany, 1740 to 1786.
 
nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
its nice that we can kill are enemies without having to risk our own soldiers.
 
ha ha .. not sure I'd use the term "nice" necessary for sure.
 
hmm tech is good, but I guess we need to move towards conflict resolution
 
+Sandeep Deshpande
when you have superior firepower and are faced with a smart enemy he will back down conflict resolved.
when you have superior firepower and are faced with a stupid enemy you can flatten him conflict resolved.
how else can you resolved a conflict with someone that wants to kill you?
 
Drones are not new - and have been in use in the air and on the ground since world war II.

Nikolai Tesla invented a remote control boat and demoed it for the US Military in 1908

JFK's elder brother was killed in World War II during operation aphrodite -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Aphrodite

The americans were also using Drones to capture fall out from Nuclear tests in the pacific.

The germans were using remote control tanks on the eastern front due to being outnumbered 3 -1. they'd drive this tank laden with explosives into the russian lines and detonate it.
 
Actually +Francis Anderson the crossbow was seeked to be banned 'crossbow could be used by an untrained soldier to injure or kill a knight in plate armour. The crossbow, itself, was therefore viewed as an inhuman weapon which required no skill and had no honour. It was even banned by the Pope! '. While it isn't neccessarily cowardice for these pilots...it certainly changes the act of war, where you can drive to work, fly a killing machine thousands of miles away and then return home afterwards to your family in your comfortable house. I read an interesting article on this very point. Draw the line between video games and this, it's just too easy to end a life from afar when there is no effect on your life at all...
 
+James Wright +Francis Anderson - this then is the future of war. no more hand to hand pitched battles fighting for your life. it's played out on monitors and controlled via a dualshock / xbox controller in a darkened bunker deep underground. it's all a game really ? or is it ? emerging at the end to find the earth scorched and everyone dead.
 
A significant proportion of the cost of fighter planes and bombers is given over to life support and space/controls for people. One of the limitations to manoeuvrability/agility and restrictions to design is in catering for people inside the aircraft.

All this can be overcome by removing people from the equation. It makes both economic and technological sense to develop unmanned aircraft.

Another interesting fact is that the accident rate for landing unmanned drones was far lower when the computer could land it than when left to 'skilled operators'.
 
+Matt Hoyland it maybe the future of wars, with no life being risked...but only for the rich, the 'rebels/enemies/terrorists' aren't exactly going to be flying their jets over to retaliate are they...they will still pay with their lives
 
+James Wright virtual kalashnikov's at the ready. they'd just hire some black hat hackers instead to knacker the traffic lights and sewage works
 
+James Wright Not sure what your saying, if the pope thought crossbows were bad, therefore they are ? The point is, any weapon is designed to inflict damage that ordinarily wouldn't be possible without putting yourself in great harm. If I carry a sword I am giving myself an advantage those without don't have, if I carry a bow and arrow, I am giving myself the ability to kill a person from range with limited danger to myself, if I throw a spear I am limiting the damage to myself and inflicting damage on an enemy that I couldn't do with my hands.. Does any of these things indicate cowardice ? Not at all, it's simply sensible to remove the enemy threat with limited danger to yourself.

While the mechanism of delivery may have changed throughout the ages, the purpose has remained the same.

Flying a plane remote control is no more cowardice than throwing a spear, using bows and arrows, crossbows, cannons, artillery, or whatever ranged weapon you care to think of.

When it comes to war, ethics is something debated after the event, every advantage is used during.
 
+Francis Anderson I almost agreed with you. But if you ask a fighter pilot who real loved to fly its bird. Most of the times he will go against the Drones...... But if we take it just like a Tank, long range weapons than its, OK.
 
+Francis Anderson I was agreeing with you. :) My point I was trying to make was with technology providing better weapons, people can view them as cowardice or lacking skill. Hence my quote of the banning of crossbows, as these were seen as cowardice tools, that allowed the weak, young, old and even infirm to kill a skilled knight.
 
HQ.HUH I,M MUSLIM ,I,M CONTROL 35% LINKS MILITARY,A WORLD
 
it's understandable the the US and Great Britain want to put their soldiers in bunkers, half-a-world away from any battlefield. The past decade has shown that, despite their multi-trillion dollar war machine, when it comes down to it — man to man — their armies are no match against even a "primitive" people armed with little more than improvised and home made weapons.

The reason for this is simple. History shows that all great (military) Empires come to an end as their populations become soft and decadent — bloated on the spoils of earlier success.

These latest weapons won't save them (it merely shows that their people have also become dehumanised) and one need only look at Israel which relies heavily on this new technology. Using their two most recent military exploits as examples ... they were a disaster: driven out of Lebanon by Hezbollah, defeated, their soldiers in tears, and more recently in the Gazan Cast Lead where a civilian population beat them to a draw.
 
+James Wright Ahh ok . .sorry, I had miss read ! Yes your right, the point of technology is to reduce training needs and level the playing fields and create a situation where you can attack without putting yourself in great danger. It's about creating an advantage which hopefully puts any attacker off.

"It is from their foes and not their friends that cities learn the lesson of building tall walls !"
 
This might be a silly question but...If both sides in a war are fighting with unmanned weapons then who are they going to be shooting at? The other unmanned weapons or the people operating the unmanned weapons?
 
Who said only rich country could afford drones? A couple of googler, and you'll find your answer.

In the inter-drones war what is the target? Easy:

1. Infrastructure of your enemy. Your enemies couldn't produce weapon if they don't have power/building/road/port/truck/train/people to run the factories right?

2. Man power that operate the military industry (and it supporting industries also). You couldn't produce more weapons if you lack of man power to build it (even if it means building a robots to make weapons).

3. Terrorized your enemy especially their civilians so much, that they insist their own gov't to make peace with you. Once the Germans/Japanese people start to see their own cities carpet bombed by their enemies. Did they still want their gov't to wage war? When US/NATO soldier start dying constantly everyday, did those people still support their gov't to wage war?

----

Technology speaking:

CPU becoming more smarter and smaller. That in essences you could make drones that drops many "little-drones" as small as toy (car/spider/plane) in thousands of thousand (depend on your production capabilities), and program it to kill anything that "move" & generate "heat". Dropping just 2000 of this "small" drones, and see just how people in a city could cope with it.

And for the best part, it doesn't kill, it just wounded you enough (loosing extremities, limbs, blinds, deaf), that your enemies must put a big resource just to "treat' their wounded citizen. This in effect would reduce the capabilities of your enemies gov't to produce weapon to fight you.

In-humans? Barbarians? Who said war is pretty? If i could think of these stuff, what would you think those special "Think-thank" in the military planner would do???
 
Bit of a moot point really, you can assassinate/kill groups of whoever you like with drones but you will always need somebody on the ground to keep any advances.

Excellent quick and safe counter-strike technology that is replacing pilots in the air but it is never going to change the fact you need to physically clear out places... unless of course you're okay just flattening huge swathes of land a la WW2.
 
Drones are an useful addition to the military.
 
When there is no pilot in the craft, then U don't need to worry about G force.
But absolute air superiority is required from sats
 
in attack.... what about defence. Naturally others will also invest in these technologies. Now that there is a working model for them to look at.
 
MILITARY USA THINK WAR ATTACK NO DIFERENCE THINK,
 
When U are attacking in forward going your attack is your defense which is built in your strategy.
If you don't stop when the wall is broken & completely the enemy removed with full air superiority then defense does come to it & your strength if not used good enough with intelligence become your enemy.
Recent wars will prove that.
If North Korea is not careful most probably you will see the next phase of 21st century. 60^
 
I,M NO LIKE MILITARY USA WAR THINK,
 
Hatta,
If the war is only fought for for good reason then is justified.
like 2nd w war
 
NO GOOD,U LIKE WAR TO GONE A NATION NATION,??? WHT TO FOR WHT ,???,USA MILITARY SAME A TERORIS WAR,,NO REAL DESTROTYED TERORIS,I CAN SEE ALL ACTIVITAS A USA MILITARY
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