Inside a Predator Strike (Cyberdyne Beware!)

We posted a pretty interesting video over at DoD Buzz yesterday that I wanted to bring to your attention.

It's fairly detailed look at a Predator/Reaper strike simulated by what looks like company officials, though I'd bet this is what a CIA strike might look like.

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The video is both fascinating and at the same time disturbing.

For one, it's amazing the control and detailed view available to the "pilot" and "sensor." It just blows me away that two people can control several drones from an air conditioned trailer 2,000 miles away -- or 100 miles away. The ability for the operators to distinguish targets, coordinate with controllers in theater and speak with spotters on the ground is just surreal and a real testament to America's technical capabilities and adaptation.

Of course, the video is also creepy in the almost clinical way in which the pilot and sensor deliver their lethal blow. Calm, collected -- and totally detached from any impact of what they've done. It's one thing to launch doomsday out of a Minuteman missile tube -- talk about detachment! ...it's another to launch a missile at a pickup truck you've never seen with your own eyes and have no real sense of the impact of that death on your daily life. A pilot returning to an air base safer because there's one less SVBID on the road has more of a sense of his strike's impact than the contractor in the trailer at Langley.

This is clearly the way aerial warfare is going -- I get it. But it's going to raise many ethical dilemmas along the way.

-- Christian

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