Monday, 27 February 2012


   Has the use of drones made war more acceptable to those who own them? Operators in comfortable offices deep in the heart of the US have so far killed 3,000 of whom at least 780 were innocent civilians in far away destitute lands. This puts a different outlook on war than meeting a man face to face and ramming a bayonet into his stomach or to flying through flak-filled skies night after night while raining down death and destruction.

Nevertheless, we now have cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among the 1,100 US drone pilots for the 7,000 drones in service.

Some of this, you may argue, is due to the long hours of eye strain seeking radar targets, but much is due to the need to study the views of dead bodies and to assess the destruction in order to guide future strikes.

Different studies give different figures but PTSD averages appear to be 15% for Afghanistan survivors and 36% for drone operators.

It appears the old human reluctance at killing is still alive among many of us. Yet, the US is training 350 drone pilots per year, more than fighter and bomber pilots combined.


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