Drones: The new direction of war

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Fraggle Rocker, May 13, 2013.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    They are doing their duty with honor. What's the difference between a bomb sight and monitor? It may not be like Grandpa's war, but it's still a war.
     
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  3. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps they are confusing honor and valor?
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well, not really, in every branch (i.e. Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy, Coast Guard) uniformed service members can qualify for medals for serving in various areas (i.e. Vietnam, Artic Circle, Antarctica, etc.). They don't get a medal for just going somewhere. They get service medals for serving in various areas or serving during various periods of time (e.g. National Defense Service Medal). Service members can also get medals for good conduct for certain lengths of time (e.g. The Good Conduct Medal) and they can get unit commendations which entitles them to wear the appropriate military decoration. The service stripe is another military decoration worn by all service branches. It is awarded for periods of service (e.g. Army awards one for every 3 years and the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force award one for every 4 years of service).

    They don't get medals for just getting near a place. That is nonsense.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. They aren't at much personal risk, and it does take a special courage to do that.
     
  8. leopold Valued Senior Member

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  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    it was a reference to the 12 mile territorial limit of the sea.
    you will also note i said "might".
    you are correct though, a service man doesn't get a medal for visiting any ol' place.

    your post does point out that a lot of medals/ pins/ and ribbons aren't directly related to combat.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    There is no “might” about it. It either is or isn’t. Additionally, you didn’t reference the 12 mile territorial limit in the initial post. And I puzzled as to why you think that might be the least bit relevant.

    Congress sets the requirements for all military medals and decorations. Our service members, especially members of the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard are always engaged in high risk operations wither they are in combat zones or not. If they are not engaged in combat, they are practicing for combat (e.g. landing at night in hazardous weather and without lights). Jumping out of airplanes with full gear is dangerous enough, do it at night and landing in the water is not “safe” under any condition. Flight ops on a carrier deck is not safe, flying helicopters in inclement weather to rescue people is not safe. Jumping artic seas (e.g. Coast Guard swimmers) and rescuing sailors is not safe. Facing 30 foot waves in a storm is not a safe thing to do. Submarines are not without risks either. Members of our military routinely risk their lives day in and day out to be ready for and engage in actual warfare when ordered to do so.

    And as I previously pointed out, our service members don’t need to be engaged in combat to win awards and ribbons. Does it matter?
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Seriously? Office workers a continent away from the combat zone do not get medals for their use of bomb sights.

    Start with personal risk. Medals for risk free assassinations are a bit odd, is all. Stress has nothing to do with it.
    It is indeed "special", that kind of "courage".
    It's also tough to have a rational discussion with people who use terms like you used to slander that blogger, who made a simple mistake many war apologists also made, but then (unlike your kind) admitted and corrected it. And who is not an authority or researcher or anyone else who should be paraphrased here. Why did you?

    And it's tough to have a rational discussion about collateral damage with someone who swallows every claim they can find from military and government based sources without apparent pause for thought, and takes the most favorable version of even them as "fact" (2/3!)
    If you are getting your "facts" from the likes of The New America Foundation you have a lot to learn about war propaganda (lessons a lot of us thought had been learned from Vietnam or Iraq, but apparently not).

    Look at this:
    Go back and read what these people were saying about the drone strikes when the ones they were justifying were those of W. Now they have a new narrative. They do not have a new character or ethical base.

    For starters, all adult male casualties in the vicinity of the target have been normally classified as "combatants" by these jokers, for years now. Continuing, they lowball the total casualty figures (note the weasel wording; according to "reliable" reports. Notice that "reliable news reports" are not from al Jazeera, say, or local sources opposed to US efforts, or analysis by anti-war activists. They are from "reliable" media only. "Reliable" does not mean "has a track record of being right all along about W's war": it means "agrees with our public statements" or "uninformed: nobody on the ground").

    They are used for assassinations, like sniper rifles (which have a similar kill range, btw, and sometimes involve that magic word "laser" you find so attractive) or other assassination means. As assassination means, they are much less selective than most - more like a car bomb, actually, than a rifle bullet, but I was granting the benefit of the most favorable comparison. Attack aircraft are more of a combat weapon, and seldom employed for assassinations.

    Think of drones as delivery platforms for car bombs - that may be the closest parallel, come to think of it.

    Or the inverse. According to reliable news reports, the successful drone assassination of al Maliki was the last of at least ten attempts - the others also killed a lot of people, of course, just not the target. Apparently you are ready to simply assume that all or most of the extra casualties were "combatants" (to get to 90%). The thing to notice is that you have no real reason to believe that - none of the necessary information is available to you. Reason argues against it - if they didn't know who they were killing, their claims of this or that percentage of "combatants" is obviously dubious, right?

    Why should we reject Senator Lindsey Graham's number? He's pals with the people who do have info, he's on the right committees, etc. Nothing contradicts his number, and at last one independent source supports it from reasoning and analysis of what info is available to outsiders.
     
  12. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    Just like all of the terrorist car bombings that have been done. How many of them actually killed a "target" that was aimed for? Not many I'd suspect, would you?
     
  13. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Iceaura - fine, you don't like my facts. Go get your own to present then. Otherwise, what you are saying is completely useless. You're just making it up as you go along.
     
  14. p-brane Registered Senior Member

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    Recent history suggests that suicide is more effective than murder in creating sympathy for a cause, the more dramatic the suicide, the more effective it is. For example, since a single act of self immolation sparked the arab spring, imagine what could be achieved by not only setting oneself ablaze, but then jumping off a building. If a bunch of radicals got together, they could cut each other's heads off (or just generally hack each other to death), with the last man (or woman) standing lighting themselves up and then, if they have the strength, jumping off a really tall building.
     
  15. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    I've noticed that your ability to assimilate information is a complete fail. Perhaps this will help - Link
     
  16. Chipz Banned Banned

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    838
    u r the dummy. that book is about teacing kids to read, not learn ing to ead. And yes, I know how to read. But it needs tob be shorter,
     
  17. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    I'm sorry, could you expound on this in English? Start with "u" and "r", then work your way up to "teacing". From there you can try tackling complex exercises such as parsing "ead". Finish off with an explanation for "tob be". Thanks in advance for the elucidation.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I haven't seen any facts from you - just repetition of unlikely and unsupported claims made by people who have a fifty year track record of lying to the public about this kind of stuff.

    We're supposed to have learned from Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Panama, Grenada, Colombia, Palestine, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Iraq again - right?

    When independent reporters with track records of accuracy and conscientiousness have gained access to sufficient and relevant information, we will be able to engage in something better than reasoned and circumstantially supported speculation about the casualties of US drone strikes. Not before.
     
  19. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure you understand what a "fact" is. A fact is a piece of data that is true. I believe the data I posted to be true. You don't. So post your own, with sources. The posting of the source is as important as the posting of the data. Otherwise - again - you may as well be - and probably are - just making this crap up as you go along.
    Right: The only data available to you you don't like, so you assume it is a lie and substitute it with some crap you just made up. How exactly is anyone supposed to take that seriously?

    Or, perhaps, you are aware that the facts do not support you so instead of admitting your mistake, you just rant, hoping to distract others from seeing those facts that you don't like. I doubt it will work, but good luck with it.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Your sincere belief is not going to convert the New America Foundation into a truthful source of accurate information, nor does it make any of their claims in the slightest more likely.

    I don't have a high security clearance, and neither do you (or you wouldn't be posting garbage from the likes of the New America Foundation). So I have no source for verifiably and reliably accurate body counts in the wake of US drone strikes. Neither do you. Since we are both speculating from circumstance and clues and hints and so forth, the matter comes down to reasoning and consideration. Instead, you have chosen to simply believe and assert whatever folks like the New America Foundation tell you. I have pointed out that there appear to be significant problems with what those folks are asserting, and that such sources have a very bad track record in these areas - you nevertheless have adopted their dubious claims as "facts".

    I posted a link to Lindsey Graham's number for total casualties, I posted a couple of lines of reasoning from what we do know, I posted a reference to the history of this issue over the last fifty years of American political discussion, and I pointed out that your trust in the unsupported assertions of known and motivated liars is not really sensible. In all of that, where is the crap I "just made up"?
     
  21. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not "speculating": I have a source for my data. It appears you don't know what the word "speculate" means either! Jeez! Only you are making this up as you go along. I have other sources as well, btw, but I'm not willing to play games with you where I post source after source and you ignore all of them.
    It appears you also don't know what the words "link" and "reference" mean. Both provide a way for me to see where your information comes from. A description of where/who it came from. A "link" is a "reference" with the added benefit that I can click on it. You posted only a quote and one that doesn't contain the data we're discussing.

    You also used the word "logic" there and it is evident that you don't know what that word means either. But since "logic" starts with "facts", that's not a new revelation.
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    So do the people who believe their horoscopes in the newspaper.

    Granted the NAF is a better starting point than one's horoscope (not a given, among the available sources), nevertheless speculation based on the assumption that the New America Foundation is a reliable single and unconsidered source of non-combat casualty statistics for classified dirty-war CIA assassination programs is not even close to reasonable.

    My apologies - I presumed the names, dates, locations, and quotations provided would be sufficiently informative, if you were honestly curious or doubted the provenance (especially in comparison with a black box outfit like the NAF). Here: http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2013/02/20/how-many-terrorists-have-been-killed-by-drones/

    or for the long version, with many followups and so forth: http://www.cfr.org/wars-and-warfare/reforming-us-drone-strike-policies/p29736
     
  23. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks. The reason I asked for a source instead of just accepting the quote you posted is the quote doesn't discuss the issue at hand; the civilian casualty rate. Fortunately, your source does -- I was hoping it would....

    Did you read your source? On page 12 of the report is the author's estimate of civilian casualties based on the average of three sources (one is NAF). That average is 12% civilian casualties over the full term of the drone program.

    The report does not qualitatively address your/Fraggle Rocker's concern about an extremely high overall civilian casualty rate except to say:
    The report cites the claim of lower civilian casualties than competing weapons systems as coming from the military, but develops the point itself (and doesn't challenge it), so clearly the author of the report agrees that lower collateral damage is an inherent capability of drone warfare. Or to flip it over, your/Fraggle Rocker's criticism of the drone program as resulting in extremely high civilian casualties is not one forwarded by the report you cite.
     

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