What’s so bad about drone warfare?

26 Feb

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What’s so bad about DRONE WARFARE?

Drone warfare is WRONG.

It’s wrong to kill people simply because they are suspected of crimes. It’s worse to send drones to rain missiles down on villages simply because people suspected of crimes live there. Hundreds of civilians have already been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. If the U.S. and other countries expand the use of military drones, the carnage will increase exponentially.

“Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not the same value as yours?” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Drone warfare is ILLEGAL.

Extra-judicial killing outside of war zones is illegal under U.S. and international law.

“No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” — President Ronald Reagan, U.S. Executive Order 12333

Drone warfare is RECKLESS.

“What scares me about drone strikes is how they’re perceived around the world. The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes… is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one.” — General Stanley McChrystal (retired)

“Drones are an example of technology outpacing our morality and thinking.” — U.S. Navy Captain, quoted in Foreign Policy (12 Feb 2013)

So, why are we designing military drones at Hopkins?

JHU’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has been deeply involved in developing technology for military drones, and huge new Pentagon contracts are now bringing drone weapons research to the Homewood campus. Because many of the university’s military contracts are classified, we do not yet know the full extent and nature of Hopkins’ drone research.

Why should you be concerned?

  • Targeted killing by drones is wrong, illegal, andreckless. But that’s only part of the problem. The technology itself is extremely dangerous. By allowing governments to dispatch robots instead of soldiers, drones make it easier to wage war anywhere, anytime. This is making the world a much more dangerous place.
  • The U.S. is waging drone warfare in secret and without democratic discussion. The technology is advancing faster than our consideration of the ethical, military, social, and environmental implications. Domestically, the use of drones to conduct wide surveillance and police the population violates our right to privacy and can easily be abused by the government.
  • Lucrative military contracts—especially those for drone warfare and weapons—are distorting university research and education. The secrecy demanded by military contracts violates the principles of open academic exchange and transparent university governance.


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Come to our Luminous Intervention before General Stanley McChrystal’s presentation at the JHU Foreign Affairs Symposium Wednesday 2/27 at 7:30pm!