Drone Chic

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DatePublished - Apr 2016
Number of pages8
PublisherOxford Research Group
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Policy Recommendations: Within the UK there is currently a bias depicting drones as precise, clean and value free. Our recommendations question this. 1) Precision is a 'myth': We need to stop deceiving ourselves that progress is being made and costs are being avoided through precision. War is never cost-free. But it appears to be in most accounts of contemporary conflict. We term this 'Drone Chic'. The stories we tell ourselves deceive us. 2) No strategy: Drones are tactical devices and cannot substitute for an overarching and coherent national strategy. Yet we ignore the primacy of the tactical and celebrate false 'victories' through simply 'proportionate and discriminate' means. A form of Moralism has replaced Politics. 3) The Victims: It is not just 'death' on the receiving end of the drone that demands attention. There are profound consequences for those living under the ever present and seemingly omnipotent machines hovering in the sky above. Drones are, we believe, 'disheartening'. They change cultural practices and cause psychological damage. 4) 'Where are the women?': More investigation is needed as to the gendered effects of drones and drone killing on the ground. What are the hard socioeconomic implications for families when the men are killed? What are the psychological implications for those who witness drone strikes? Can the rise in female suicide rates in places such as Afghanistan be attributed in part to an increase in drone strikes? 5) The Veterans: One of the important 'stories' we are told about drones is that they are accurate and precise. Yet the mounting evidence points, on numerous occasions, in 'precisely' the opposite direction. Do drone pilots 'suffer' trauma and PTSD from their duties? 6) Future concerns: As drones continue to proliferate into the hands of both state and non-state actors, we must realize that drones can be used in a multitude of ways which may compromise our safety.

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© Oxford Research Group. 2016.

    Research areas

  • Drones

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