The Likely Result of Drone Diplomacy

A few articles about potential issues, including ethical considerations, of using drones to fight wars have come out in the last few weeks. The majority of them such as this one and this one have that unique and moronic WASP world-view where people they can win wars by technology alone. It is kinda funny to watch these morons talk about drones as if they made it easier to win conflicts in the medium- or long-term.

History shows that it was possible for gun- and disease- carrying Europeans to win wars and exterminate stone/bronze age societies in the Americas and Australia. However it also shows that Europeans had at best partial and temporary success at controlling counties in Asia, Middle-East and even Africa. The fundamental problem about winning wars or even dominating the world with technology is that doing so requires a very high technology differential between the two sides in combination with unique set of conditions such as a very bottom-heavy demographic profile.

It seems that almost nobody is talking about the less obvious, but incredibly nasty blowback, resulting from wars fought by remote control toys. Apart from the obvious technology heavy considerations related to reverse engineering of captured drones or hacking them to hit those who sent them lies another way to get back at the source of drones.

Targeted assassination by humans- aka murder for hire.

The fundamental weakness of all hierarchical institutions is that they insulate their leaders from reality while simultaneously exposing those at the bottom or even in the middle of the pyramid to substantially increased risks. While the leaders, generals, chiefs of organizations enjoy unprecedented and costly security the grunts who actually do the work have close to no additional security. However unlike the people they are fighting, these grunts tend to me far more educated and valuable to the systems they work for- though that will almost never be even acknowledged.

It does not take a genius to figure out that it would be easy and relatively inexpensive for foreign organizations to hire people to murder those who work in the lower or middle levels of the drone war machine. Even if most of such attempts ended in partial success- it would make it very hard to get people to work or recruit replacements not to mention making internal “security” in the USA even more horrendously expensive and disruptive. Furthermore the USA is not ethnically homogenous, strongly nationalistic or lacking enough poor and desperate men who would only to too happy other around them for money.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. tspoon
    February 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    actually the problem for those pesky europeans was that they did not possess the necessary force of will to totally subjugate those whose lands they entered (longterm), although they probably had the capability to do so.
    they now lack the force of will to prevent it being done to them, let alone do it to anyone else. maybe they’ll get some one of these days. who knows

  2. Matt Strictland
    February 3, 2012 at 12:07 am

    These articles may be hype and agitprop. Assuming these drones actually prove to be useful in the real world, which is not a given the results will be a lot worse than anyone anticipates.

    You’ll get the ability for root striking attacks well distributed into many hands.

    To quote Thoreau “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

    So just as the US (or whoever) attacks Iranian physicists, people can attack US important people. Hell a few drones or just a flame thrower equipped kill squad sent into an elite private school or MIT or Wall Street or the current Google or Facebook analogue will do more damage in a long run fight than almost any battle field attack could.

    And note these types tactics , direct action on persons have been used before by anti vivisection guerillas with high measure of success. Or heck in Mexico too. In the case of the anti vivisection types It wasn’t even needful to kill anyone just bring serious consequences home to them.

    Of course there is also high possibility that widespread use of robotic will basically end the economy too, we’ve already seen what happens to societies with little work or a bad wealth redistribution, they either get stupid or shrink. So its possible that they various governments will basically have to own the factories for these things or not have them as they will have a stunningly low tax base.

    We are already seeing the shrinking and as poverty increase, the tax bases decreases.

    In short, we are humped. But I suspect we all new that.

  3. February 5, 2012 at 10:12 am
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