Obama's drone war a 'recruitment tool' for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers | World Defense

Obama's drone war a 'recruitment tool' for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers

Redheart

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Obama's drone war a 'recruitment tool' for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers | World news | The Guardian

Four former US air force service members, with more than 20 years of experience between them operating military drones, have written an open letter to Barack Obama warning that the program of targeted killings by unmanned aircraft has become a major driving force for Isis and other terrorist groups.

The group of servicemen have issued an impassioned plea to the Obama administration, calling for a rethink of a military tactic that they say has “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like Isis, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantánamo Bay”.

In particular, they argue, the killing of innocent civilians in drone airstrikes has acted as one of the most “devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world”.

“We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home,” they wrote.

The joint statement – from the group who have experience of operating drones over Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflict zones – represents a public outcry from what is understood to be the largest collection of drone whistleblowers in the history of the program. Three of the letter writers were sensor operators who controlled the powerful visual equipment on US Predator drones that guide Hellfire missiles to their targets.

They are Brandon Bryant, 30, who served in the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron and 3rd Special Operations Squadron from 2005 to 2011; Michael Haas, 29, who served in the same squadrons during the same period; and Stephen Lewis, 29, who was with the 3rd Special Operations Squadron between 2005 and 2010.

The fourth whistleblower, Cian Westmoreland, 28, was a technician responsible for the communications infrastructure of the drone program. He served with the 606 Air Control Squadron in Germany and the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The four are represented legally by Jesselyn Radack, director of national security and human rights at the nonprofit ExposeFacts. “This is the first time we’ve had so many people speaking out together about the drone program,” she said, pointing out that the men were fully aware that they faced possible prosecution for speaking out.
 

Corzhens

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I don't know what those servicemen mean by their "impassioned plea to the Obama administration, calling for a rethink of a military tactic." With ISIS, is that “feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like Isis" really had ignited because of the drones? ISIS had been organized on their own free will and was fueled by their religious fervor. So what has the drones got to do with that? My point is, drone or no drone, ISIS will be the same in their feelings of hatred simply because they claim to be jihadists, their inspiration to kill comes from their religious belief.
 

Redheart

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ISIS had been organized on their own free will and was fueled by their religious fervor. So what has the drones got to do with that? My point is, drone or no drone, ISIS will be the same in their feelings of hatred simply because they claim to be jihadists, their inspiration to kill comes from their religious belief.
In theory, drones will strike specific targets but it so happens that at times innocent people who aren't terrorists are killed by drone strikes. Some reports from the Middle East alleged that 90% of people killed by drone strikes were not terrorists. You see when someone you love gets killed and there's no way you can get justice, when someone offers you a way to get back at the killers odds are you'll take their offer. That I believe is the reason why the airforce "whistleblowers" think the drone war can be used as a recruitment tool by ISIS.
 

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In theory, drones will strike specific targets but it so happens that at times innocent people who aren't terrorists are killed by drone strikes. Some reports from the Middle East alleged that 90% of people killed by drone strikes were not terrorists. You see when someone you love gets killed and there's no way you can get justice, when someone offers you a way to get back at the killers odds are you'll take their offer. That I believe is the reason why the airforce "whistleblowers" think the drone war can be used as a recruitment tool by ISIS.
Pardon my ignorance. I thought all along that drones were small and used for spying although I get the idea that they are also used for striking but not exactly killing people. Now I understand that drones have replaced jet fighters. But I wonder why drones are used when they are not sure of the hits - collateral damage is one of the most hideous part of the war so maybe it is logical for some civilians to join ISIS just to get their revenge.
 

Redheart

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I thought all along that drones were small and used for spying although I get the idea that they are also used for striking but not exactly killing people. Now I understand that drones have replaced jet fighters.
I suppose the reason they use drones for strikes against insurgents is because they are relatively undetectable but drones haven't replaced fighter jets and won't for a while because their capabilities as yet are limited. For example since they are much slower than warplanes they'd be useless in air to air combat.
 

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I suppose the reason they use drones for strikes against insurgents is because they are relatively undetectable but drones haven't replaced fighter jets and won't for a while because their capabilities as yet are limited. For example since they are much slower than warplanes they'd be useless in air to air combat.
A friend was talking to me yesterday and there was the mention of drone. Although it's about the drone with camera for taking footages, the topic shifted to fighting drones. He said that drones are mostly used for spying because it can penetrate the enemy's territory thru the air. And since it is unmanned then there is no risk to life and limbs unlike a jet fighter that can be shot down.
 

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Pardon my ignorance. I thought all along that drones were small and used for spying although I get the idea that they are also used for striking but not exactly killing people. Now I understand that drones have replaced jet fighters. But I wonder why drones are used when they are not sure of the hits - collateral damage is one of the most hideous part of the war so maybe it is logical for some civilians to join ISIS just to get their revenge.
First of all, ISIS isn't only entity in world which has hatred towards others, most humans are that way actually. Secondly, there's no way ISIS is independent group, it's leadership is in contact if not directed by foreign nations for many reasons. It's in West's interests to make sure ISIS remains for now. So enough with the 'they get it from Islam thing', because the group is a political group which has actions that are not related to religion. Such as trying to flirt with women to get them to marry them in Syria. That's absolutely not Islamic behavior, people looking for hookups mean they have no religious agenda. I refuse to believe ISIS leadership is sincere in any form. Maybe some of the individual fighters actually believe they are doing something for God but they are used to achieve foreign interests.

Let me tell you, I come from Palestine and our soldiers will never use internet or media devices in dangerous free manner like ISIS militants do. ISIS militants skype, use internet on widespread scale yet no one is targeting their leadership. Their leader went into public, gave 1 hour sermon and escape unharmed after ISIS took over Mosul and supposedly US intelligence was on 'high alert'. If world actually wants to defeat ISIS they could easily deploy 20k troops and get it done. ISIS is a weak group which has poor training, and nobody is fooling us with their nonsensical excuses. They use ISIS to demonize Muslims/Islam and achieve regional interests. All ISIS does is target Muslims and threaten Muslim groups/movements. And just by looking at ISIS propaganda, it's clear attempt to defame Islam. The way of language they use in their videos absolutely indicates that they are the new boogeymen like Al Qaeda was decades ago. Which is intended to make Islam look as bad as possible. This way the Jewish people can distract Muslim world and make the Muslim world focus on defending their faith rather than prevent Jewization of the culture overseas and deflect attention from Israel.

In Palestine, when Israel declares war on our people, the world supports it with all kinds of weapons and resupplies their munitions but most importantly gives green light for ground invasion. And they immediately do ground invasion, but they pretend like it's impossible task against ISIS which is bullshit. And nobody is buying the bullshit in the media that ISIS is result of Islam, no it's not, it's leadership is severely infiltrated and no way can they have such survival rate.
 

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First of all, ISIS isn't only entity in world which has hatred towards others, most humans are that way actually. Secondly, there's no way ISIS is independent group, it's leadership is in contact if not directed by foreign nations for many reasons. It's in West's interests to make sure ISIS remains for now. So enough with the 'they get it from Islam thing', because the group is a political group which has actions that are not related to religion. Such as trying to flirt with women to get them to marry them in Syria. That's absolutely not Islamic behavior, people looking for hookups mean they have no religious agenda. I refuse to believe ISIS leadership is sincere in any form. Maybe some of the individual fighters actually believe they are doing something for God but they are used to achieve foreign interests.

Let me tell you, I come from Palestine and our soldiers will never use internet or media devices in dangerous free manner like ISIS militants do. ISIS militants skype, use internet on widespread scale yet no one is targeting their leadership. Their leader went into public, gave 1 hour sermon and escape unharmed after ISIS took over Mosul and supposedly US intelligence was on 'high alert'. If world actually wants to defeat ISIS they could easily deploy 20k troops and get it done. ISIS is a weak group which has poor training, and nobody is fooling us with their nonsensical excuses. They use ISIS to demonize Muslims/Islam and achieve regional interests. All ISIS does is target Muslims and threaten Muslim groups/movements. And just by looking at ISIS propaganda, it's clear attempt to defame Islam. The way of language they use in their videos absolutely indicates that they are the new boogeymen like Al Qaeda was decades ago. Which is intended to make Islam look as bad as possible. This way the Jewish people can distract Muslim world and make the Muslim world focus on defending their faith rather than prevent Jewization of the culture overseas and deflect attention from Israel.

In Palestine, when Israel declares war on our people, the world supports it with all kinds of weapons and resupplies their munitions but most importantly gives green light for ground invasion. And they immediately do ground invasion, but they pretend like it's impossible task against ISIS which is bullshit. And nobody is buying the bullshit in the media that ISIS is result of Islam, no it's not, it's leadership is severely infiltrated and no way can they have such survival rate.
Gee, that's a very informative post. I agree with that line about demonizing Islam. That's also my impression - ISIS is using Islam to hide their ulterior motive. However their enemies are connecting ISIS with Islam simply because ISIS makes those declaration that they are building a Islamic State and they are fighting for their religion. And ISIS calls themselves jihadists so that makes them religious soldiers and not political militants.
 

Redheart

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Although it's about the drone with camera for taking footages, the topic shifted to fighting drones. He said that drones are mostly used for spying because it can penetrate the enemy's territory thru the air.
This will only last for a while. New radar technology will make it harder for drones to fly into enemy territory undetected.

An Israeli firm developed a new radar to detect dronesSecurity Affairs
The Israeli company ARTSYS 360 is developing a small 3D electronic radar that will be able to monitor drones in small areas.

I suppose the moment other countries get their hands on this technology they too will make radars that will detect small drones that's if they aren't already trying to modify the radars in use. Problem though is should they then large birds could also be considered threats because they'll be detected by the modified radars!
 

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This will only last for a while. New radar technology will make it harder for drones to fly into enemy territory undetected.

An Israeli firm developed a new radar to detect dronesSecurity Affairs
The Israeli company ARTSYS 360 is developing a small 3D electronic radar that will be able to monitor drones in small areas.

I suppose the moment other countries get their hands on this technology they too will make radars that will detect small drones that's if they aren't already trying to modify the radars in use. Problem though is should they then large birds could also be considered threats because they'll be detected by the modified radars!
So that means drones in war will be a thing of the past even before they become in fashion? This may sound silly but I saw some scenes in a movie shown on cable some years back that war is fought with machines. The military men were like players of video games where they were positioned in secured areas manning their monitors and controls while the machines were doing the hard work. Maybe that scenario is not far fetched now.
 

Redheart

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So that means drones in war will be a thing of the past even before they become in fashion?
Not quite. Some drones are so small that it would be almost impossible to shoot them down.

US Military's New Swarm of Mini-Drones
US military scientists have invented a miniature drone that fits in the palm of a hand, ready to be dropped from the sky like a mobile phone with wings.

"We will put so many out there, it will be impossible for the enemy to pick them all up."
Drone warfare is here to stay and I believe that they'll play a major part in aerial warfare in future.
 

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I believe that drones are a good way to find your enemy and it is a used in a number of missions that can save soldiers lives if we allow it too. The good news about them is that we can spot the enemy and see how many of them are in the vicinity of the drone and the bad is that the soldiers fighting for us are in view too.
 

ally79

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So that means drones in war will be a thing of the past even before they become in fashion? This may sound silly but I saw some scenes in a movie shown on cable some years back that war is fought with machines. The military men were like players of video games where they were positioned in secured areas manning their monitors and controls while the machines were doing the hard work. Maybe that scenario is not far fetched now.

That is exactly how the US uses drones and I imagine they will continue to use the technology as more millennials join the varying branches of the armed forces here. Now we have servicemen in the states fighting wars halfway around the world without ever leaving the comfort of their video game chair.

Who wants to bet these "whistle blowers" are all dishonorably discharged and perhaps criminally prosecuted before 6 months is up?
 

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Not quite. Some drones are so small that it would be almost impossible to shoot them down.

US Military's New Swarm of Mini-Drones

Drone warfare is here to stay and I believe that they'll play a major part in aerial warfare in future.
That's also my idea that in the near future it will be a battle between drones. Do you remember the Gulf War in 1992? It was a battle between the Scud missiles and the Patriot interceptors. Until now I still don't understand what those Patriots are. Is their function only to intercept missiles or are they missiles also? But anyway, drones may be smaller and it may be equipped with a small weapon like a laser that can burn holes in metal.
 

Zeroneverends

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Perhaps drones should be used strictly for intelligence gathering, and not for killing.
 
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