Drones. A word that strikes controversy anywhere you go whether it is due to the idea that it could open up a whole new world of surveillance on America’s own citizens or the ethics of using the technology in warfare. In the wake of the Snowden debacle, I really do have to wonder why there is a fear of even more surveillance since the government can already spy through our computers — why do they need to add drone operations to their capibilities?
In regards to their military usage, I completely agree with their use because we have opened up another Pandora’s box with weapons in much the same same way we did with nukes. They are an evil that has been unleashed into the world and since we can’t take them back we need to keep them, so we don’t fall behind other countries’ advancements with the tool. Already, other countries have been doubling and tripling the amount of drones at their disposal with numbers ranging from a little over ten in the United Kingdom to an unknown, possibly, huge number in China and Russia. While China may not be a current threat, Russia certainly is, despite promises from presidential candidate Donald Trump to become buddies with Putin if he becomes President. Considering their invasion in Ukraine, while we all were celebrating the Winter Olympics, and their constant expansion ever since the U.S. needs to be aware of the Russia’s questionable foreign policy. It is frightening to think that they could have dozens of drones at their disposal that could actually makes attacks on U.S. soil.
One of the major issues with drone use, other than their actual existence, is the civilian deaths drones have caused. While there is little research on drones themselves, or at least not much released to the public, in any war zone there are always unfortunate civilian casualties and while there is no proof of greater or fewer civilian deaths, even if there were an equal amount of civilian deaths, drones would save countless soldiers’ lives. The drones’ power of surveillance or their incredibly accurate targeting makes them an absolute necessity when fighting as it can detect enemy troops in hiding and take them out or divert the ground troops in order to keep them away from hidden troops.
The good that drones have done far outweigh the negative outcry over their use. They have literally brought us Osama Bin Laden’s head on a platter and the more of them out on the front line are only protecting more and more soldiers. When the drone research is finally done and released to the public we will have a much better idea of the truth on their effectiveness and capabilities.
Rachael Wojciechowski, Contributing Columnist