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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

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The Future of America’s Drones

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The United States’ use of drones has raised questions about the nature of modern warfare.  Drones are unmanned aerial combat vehicles that allow the army to strike targets without putting a pilot in immediate danger.  The Obama’s administration’s increased use of drones to attack areas in Pakistan, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, has many wondering if this program should continue as is.  With plans underway to increase the arsenal, it’s important to pause and question whether or not this increase should happen.

We believe it should not.

The U.S. army has long stood by the principle of going into areas, catching terrorists, and saving civilians. Yet, we now stand by the premise of using drones to do much of that job for us. According to a report released by Stanford on Tuesday, the percent of high value targets killed in drone attacks is 2%.

Yes, only two percent of the people killed by drones are high value targets. Hundreds of civilians have died in Pakistan due to drone strikes. The people of Pakistan want us to stop using drones and killing innocent people.  Why give them reason to have this hatred for us?

The other problem with drones and why we should not increase our arsenal is future repercussions. The largest military breakthrough in world history was the invention nuclear bomb.  Many problems, such as the Cold War, came out of this weapon.

The nuclear arms race between Russia and the United States was the first time people in the modern United States feared for their lives every single day. Can you imagine living in a world where you have to live in fear every day of being killed? Imagine going to school every single day while wondering if the Soviets will bomb the US.

So this leads to the real question at hand: can drones cause the same global impact as

nuclear weapons? We believe the answer is yes. Already we see the drone race starting to occur in our world. The United States has started to stockpile. This is extremely dangerous to not only us but also the world. China, Russia, and other world powers have recently increased their supply of drones and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

When examining any situation you want to think of the worst-case scenario and drones have a horrible worst-case scenario. Drones are run through computers at a secure headquarters, if a terrorist were to infiltrate that headquarters then they could control all of our drones for a short period of time (a lot like “Black Ops 2”). Knowing our government one can assume we have the necessary fail-safes to prevent this loss of control from happening for too long, but the thought of someone possessing all that power instantaneously is a scary thought.

Drones have yet another downfall: there are absolutely no regulations on drones put in place by the federal government or state government.  We need more laws in place to control how much we can use these potentially dangerous machines.  This is where President Obama needs to step up and do something.

Don’t get us wrong drones are the future–heck they are the now–but we need to learn to use them to better effect. We need to communicate with other countries to make sure a global drone war doesn’t happen. Lastly we need to make sure that drones aren’t misused by people who are unfit to use them. One man, President Barack Obama, can change all of these problems.

President Obama did mention drones during his State of the Union address but, the question remains: what will he do?

 

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  • Z

    ZachMar 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    While the amount of collateral damage is high, I believe drone strikes should continue. The targets that are successfully killed in drone strikes tend to be top commanders and key enemy figures. By removing these key targets from action, we not only intimidate the enemy (by showing that even their leaders are not safe), but also save hundreds of potential lives, by preventing future plots by the enemy commanders and targets (who have been killed by drone strikes). While innocent lives can be lost while attempting to target the enemy, it is an unfortunate truth to every war, and stopping the targeting of the enemy just because of this, will simply lead to more innocent deaths.

    Reply
  • Z

    ZachMar 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    While the amount of collateral damage is high, I believe drone strikes should continue. The targets that are successfully killed in drone strikes tend to be top commanders and key enemy figures. By removing these key targets from action, we not only intimidate the enemy (by showing that even their leaders are not safe), but also save hundreds of potential lives, by preventing future plots by the enemy commanders and targets (who have been killed by drone strikes). While innocent lives can be lost while attempting to target the enemy, it is an unfortunate truth to every war, and stopping the targeting of the enemy just because of this, will simply lead to more innocent deaths.

    Reply
  • A

    AllisonMar 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Leave the drones (droids, same difference) to Starwars, Obama!

    Reply
  • A

    AllisonMar 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Leave the drones (droids, same difference) to Starwars, Obama!

    Reply
  • G

    Gerald mariscalMar 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Great article!

    Reply