On Tuesday, a Pakistani family will tell members of Congress about the aerial attack they survived but their grandmother did not in the first meeting between legislators and the victims of an alleged U.S. drone strike.
The president’s address Thursday left at least three core issues in the war on terror entirely unsettled: when Guantanamo will close, who will oversee future drone attacks and when surveillance of the press will end.
The nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director has prompted intense debate on Capitol Hill and in the media about U.S. drone killings abroad. But the focus has been on the targeting of American citizens – a narrow issue that accounts for a miniscule proportion of the hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen in recent years.
The entire episode involves a seamless integration of robots and troops working in tandem, of next-generation drones “wired” together and operating in teams, and of autonomous drones making their own decisions. But there’s a reason you’ve never read about it in the New York Times or the Washington Post. It won’t take place for 20 years.
Improvements in the technology behind the predator drone are advancing at a rate faster than a half-naked Arnold Schwarzenegger fleeing extra-terrestrial assassins in an alien jungle. Two new books bring us up to date. (more)