By Brenda Acuna |Staff Writer|
Of the many national policies backed by President Barack Obama, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), otherwise known as drones, lie at the epicenter of public controversy.
Many reasonable people are troubled by the UAV program, citing it as unethical and inhumane.
Others worry that UAVs are a highly secretive program and wonder what standards are being used to name people as targets.
But for me, drones are a good idea.
One reason to prefer drones is that they serve as good tactical warfare.
Killing targets like terrorists are sometimes necessary and fighting them requires some degree of secrecy.
UAV’s also mark a new way of fighting as U.S. troops reducing their presence in Afghanistan and depend more on these weapons.
Drones, like the Predator, and its newer, larger version, Reaper, have reportedly killed scores of Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan and Yemen.
Another reason to prefer drones over people is that when you send military personnel, fighting breaks out, and the longer the fighting continues, the more innocent people die.
Drones can overcome many problems.
The military can fly them low without fear of losing pilot lives.
They can study their target carefully, reducing the need to make instantaneous decisions.
According to nydailynews.com, “Predators fly over a target for hours before they strike, sometimes days, to establish a ‘pattern of life’ in the target area. If there are civilians in the target area, they do not strike.”
Drones are unmanned but this does not mean that they are unpiloted; the pilots are simply not on board, just thousands of miles away.
While there are many who coin UAV’s as “flying killer robots,” employing unmanned aircraft’s saves soldiers’ lives, and as an American, I do not like putting troops in unnecessary risk.
Drones not only serve as an integral part of our national security, but also prove to be an important technological advancement.
According to National Geographic, drones have multiple uses.
“Predators already help Customs and Border Protection agents spot smugglers and illegal immigrants sneaking into the U.S.”
Drones are not only for warfare. The also help scientists gather data on volcanoes in Costa Rica, archaeological sites in Russia and Peru and flooding in North Dakota.
Advocates against UAV’s claim that a substantial number of civilians are killed in the attacks, but U.S. government officials assert that the civilian casualty rate is now zero.
One analysis of the drone campaign by the New America Foundation found that the civilian casualty rate has been dropping sharply since 2008.
Many argue that we are putting innocent lives at risk, but what other alternative is there?
I am pressed to remember the philosopher John Stuart Mill who stated certain sacrifices must be done for the greater good.
When we attack terrorists, there will always be the risk of putting innocent people in the line of fire, no matter how careful we are.