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For Better Or For Worse Essay

983 words - 4 pages

Since its start in the 1990's, modern technology has impacted our lives in numerous ways. From the way we work to the way we wage war, technology is the overriding factor. It surrounds us all the time we when talk on the phone, drive to work, and go out to eat. Even when we just have fun, technology is always right there. The way research has drastically changed, with wifi and google. Forget walking to the library and looking through old newspapers, just ask Siri, and in just a few seconds you'll know how faraway Oswald was from JFK. As a culture, we are beginning to want everything at the touch of a button, information, conversations, and even food. But is there a limit? Perhaps, a human life?
The USA has been pioneering the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drones, since the American Civil War. Starting with hot air balloons that would drop explosives on a time delay device. It was not until the Vietnam War that drones had a huge part to play. When the predator drones called Firebees, flew over 3,500 sorties durning the course of the war (Garamone). Today, in The War On Terror, drones are still a major player, even more so than ever. With strategic strikes on hostile targets, without the risk of losing American lives, UAV's have had a huge impact on our military setup. We found Osama Bin Laden with the help of drones and just recently on November 1st, 2013, a UAV strike took out the Pakistani Taliban leader(Shah). In the Gulf War, some Iraqi soldiers even tried to surrender to a drone as it flew over head. What about the “pilots” of these aircraft? Are they any different from those of manned aircraft?
The main difference between manned and unmanned aircraft pilots is one lives on a base and sees their family only ever so often, and the other goes home every night to his wife and kids. This alone shows that there must be some difference in the psyche of these two parties. For a drone pilot, you have no skin in the game, no chance of getting hurt; your sitting there staring at a computer screen, you push a button, and your target disappears in a cloud of smoke and dust. It must weigh on the minds of some pilots that you can not dig through the rubble to confirm you hit the right target, that there were not any women or children in there. Reports of PTSD are more common than you would think among drone operator. This is due to multiple factors, first is that unlike a regular soldier, you don't go to war in a group, your on your own with little support groups. “And unlike what most people might think, your not eight thousand miles away, your eighteen inches” (Cusimano). The American soldier who is on the ground screaming into your...

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