War destroys happiness. Many people, including the unarmed and innocent, are killed. Wives become widows and children become orphans. War consumes a tremendous amount of resources. In 2006, the National Priorities Project estimated that the United States government spent $225 million per day or almost $1.8 billion per week on the Iraq War. Clearly, war is a costly game.
However, war is a source of income for weapons producers and media outlets. The owners of these businesses usually have connections with top government officials. These politicians are the people who have the power to decide if their countries enter a war.
Are their decisions based on the interests of the majority of their people or a small group of people? Governments may explain that they decide to go to war because their spies have discovered threats from the rival countries, but we should remember that spies are paid by their government.
Moreover, governments are able to utilize propaganda techniques to manipulate their citizens’ minds and persuade them to believe what the government wants. War involves politics and politics is a game of deception.
Drones, unmanned and self-directing aircrafts, have brought warfare to a higher level, at which human involvement is less intensive. The U.S. Army has deployed drones of all shapes, sizes and capabilities, for battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. In an article in CounterPunch, Ian Harris reported that from 2009 to 2011, U.S. drones killed more than 2,000 armed adversaries. Drones have saved thousands of U.S. soldiers’ lives.
“The drone is apparently the next technological step in aviation warfare,” Dr. Thomas Winpenny, professor of history, said. He said that the drones are the other versions of the U.S. Army’s smart bombs and heat-seeking missiles since they do not risk pilots’ lives. Dr. Winpenny said his students that have friends fighting in Afghanistan think drones are “an acceptable mode of warfare” because they save their friends’ lives. However, a group of pacifist students in his class are against drones, as they believe warfare is evil in general.
In addition, our enemies, who prefer to fight mano-a-mano, have called the U.S. cowards. Many times, U.S. soldiers, sitting in areas far from their targets, only need to press a button to send a drone to kill the enemies. It has become easy to take a person’s life. Although they may be terrorists, they are human beings and deserve to be treated fairly. In some situations, the CIA’s informants falsely accuse their opponents of being terrorists, and the U.S. Army helps its informants solve personal conflicts by sending drones to kill the opponents.
Facing the threat of U.S. drones, other countries have invested a tremendous amount of resources to develop their own drones and counter-drone weapons. These resources should have been used for nonmilitary purposes such as building schools or hospitals. Furthermore, this development of weapons may intensify the conflict among rival countries and result in wars.
War is a dirty business. Despite some advantages of drones, drone warfare is unethical and unacceptable because it violates human rights, wastes resources, and triggers more wars.