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News What is the big deal with drones?

  1. Jul 11, 2013 #1
    It's harding finding news about/from the US that don't have the word drone in them. Here are few remarks on drones from recent news stories I found:

    My question is: Why is the emphasis being put on drones?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2013 #2


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    Because it used to be that if you wanted to kill someone with a missile you had to figure out their location with a man on the ground, then fly a half billion dollar war machine over their house and hope you can hit it while flying 1000 miles per hour. Also hope that your target is still there, because this half billion dollar war machine took six hours to fly there from its aircraft carrier (which itself a hundred billion dollar war machine that you have parked off the coast of Yemen just so you can off a couple of middling priority targets)

    Now you have a 10 million dollar war machine that doesn't need a pilot, can be launched by an agent from anywhere, and which is equipped with a camera so you can do target acquisition on the fly. In other words the game has changed from "there's no way you're ever going to be able to kill someone like this, and you'll waste a trillion dollars trying" to "yeah we kill people like this all the time, and it costs about a million bucks a pop"
  4. Jul 11, 2013 #3


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    In an attempt to abide by the rules of Physics Forums I am posting the following items with citations. The opening two sentences are my own.

    There is a great international controversy about the USA using unmanned drones. They can operate both passively gathering intelligence by surveillance and actively when armed with weapons used to kill enemies plotting to harm the USA, its allies, or its strategic interests.

    “The White House, together with the Pentagon and the CIA, reportedly maintains a "kill list" with potential drone targets. President Barack Obama reportedly approves every name that is added to the list after looking over biographies of the suspected terrorists that one official referred to as "baseball cards." According to the Justice Department white paper, the U.S. does not need evidence of a specific attack to consider an alleged terrorist an "imminent" threat worthy of a targeted strike.”

    Here are two articles that express opposing views:



    Here’s a recent article that cites 3 reasons why to not use drones:
    1. Copy-cat attacks
    2. Killing innocent civilians
    3. Lack of oversight

    Here’s a new advancement in drone capability: Launching and recovering drones from aircraft carriers!
    “Drone landing on aircraft carrier opens new possibilities for Pentagon
    The X-47B drone made the carrier landing off Virginia Wednesday (10 July 2013). How military leadership decides to put the drone into use will form the crux of ‘naval doctrine moving forward,’ one expert says.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/drone-landing-aircraft-carrier-opens-possibilities-pentagon-204930334.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Jul 12, 2013 #4


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    Thread closed.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
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