Before this website was set up, Drone Wars UK reported the launch of Convenient Killing: Armed Drones and the ‘Playstation Mentality at The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR)’s conference about armed drones in September.
“Armed drones involve a form of playstation warfare and risk creating a culture of convenient killing,” said FoR’s Amy Hailwood, “Drones reduce the physical and mental distance between operator and target and are likely to lower the threshold for launching an attack”.
Conservative estimates suggest that US drones in Pakistan kill one civilian for every two combatants, but the Ministry of Defence has refused to release any figures about the UK’s own drones. Amy Hailwood says, “These robotic weapons deserve much greater public scrutiny . . . The government must address the accountability vacuum by releasing information about drone attacks and the casualties incurred”.
Though the US government and CIA have launched by far the greatest number of attacks, the UK government has deployed three Reaper drones in Afghanistan and BAE Systems is developing other drones intended for use by UK forces.The UK also rents Hermes 450 drones from Israel – the largest manufacturer – on a ‘pay-by-the-hour’ basis.
For news of the conference see http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/13144
The article on the Drone Wars UK website may be read in full here: http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/convenient-killing-armed-drones-and-the-playstation-mentality/