Military bound

I enjoyed Sandbrook’s (2015) description of some of the non-military applications of drones, as the author mentions the two can be hard to separate.  In fact I found this article to be a justification (critical justification?) of their use.  I say critical because of Sandbrook does not shy away from the negative uses of drones, he is very objective in his analysis which is greatly appreciated.  I did, however, at the end of this read find myslef asking the question: is it possible to separate drones from military use?  Of course all intentional uses of drones are not strictly for military purposes as Sandbrook shows, but it seemed in every situation he offered he also addressed some very real and very possible concerns that tie drones back to their military nature.  He even opens the article by addressing the negative connotations associated to the word ‘drone’ but embraces it for lack of a better alternative.

I suppose GIS went through (still is?) a similar period as many of the greatest advancements in GIS and remote sensing are the result of war driven technological progress. As I write this a conversation from last class stands out in my memory-that of maps kill and maps + guns= drones.  Reflecting on some of the points my classmates made, this article helped clarify one aspect of our discussion.  Though ultimately the decision to kill is that of the user (I am choosing not to discuss the idea of distance/engagement though I recognize its importance).  The way that Sandbrook showed how peoples most common response to drones are those related to fear and actions based from fear-even if their life is not at risk  (thinking of the poachers example) means that drones work through inciting fear.  They are fear-mongering devices and until this changes I believe they will be inseparable from military use.



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