90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama’s Weapon Of Choice In War: The Drone

A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport in Afghanistan in June 2010. (AP)

A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport in Afghanistan in June 2010. (AP)

For the Obama administration, the essential weapon of war has become the drone. More than 1,000 pilots control them with joysticks from offices here in this country, using them over Libya last year, as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan. The CIA has also used them to kill militants in Pakistan and Yemen, where a CIA drone killed American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki last year, on what some critics call an illegal mission.

The thinking is drones reduce the cost of war and the risk to troops on the ground, but there’s a growing debate in military circles about the consequences. Will enemies use them against us? It’s thought that China and Russia may have the latest U.S. drone technology, after a drone crashed or was brought down in Iran. And military psychologists say flying drones can provoke an “existential conflict” in pilots because they’re torn over whether they’re doing the right thing.

It’s a conflict that just might be a new mental disorder for a new kind of warfare.

Guests:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

We now have a digital bookshelf! Explore all our books coverage or browse by genre.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

February 25 Comment

DJ Sessions: New Music From Nashville

For this week's DJ Session, Marcia Campbell shares songs from Teea Goans, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton and Earls of Leicester.

February 25 97 Comments

Feminist Gamer Withdraws From PAX East, Citing Safety Concerns

Video game developer Brianna Wu discusses the threats against her and her role as a feminist leader amid the Gamergate controversy.

February 24 6 Comments

Uber’s New Turf: Mid-Sized Cities

The ride-for-hire service is expanding into areas without a strong taxi culture. We speak with the mayor of Des Moines, Iowa.

February 24 5 Comments

Jobs Growing In City Centers, Shrinking In Suburban Areas

A decades-long trend has reversed. As more people move to city centers, employers are moving with them.