Piloting Military Drones Is Not Like Playing a Videogame

Albino Boo

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Blablahb said:
Hornet0404 said:
Well you could argue that combatants that hide amongst the civilian populace (Taliban) and don't discriminate between other combatants and innocent civilians are "bad guys" (most terrorist organizations) regardless of what their holy book says.

But hey that's just me.
But the 'Taliban' as in evil religious zealots who are the archenemies of everything we stand for, died out years ago.

What's dubbed Taliban these days are a mix of drug lord militias, tribal fighters motivated by tribe vs tribe issues, outraged Afghans who've been mistreated by US troops or heard of that happening to others, and the actual religious zealots.

Their motivations differ as a result. Especially the victims of US troops' brutal and unprofessional conduct (which you hear a lot of in Afghanistan) can't really be seen as the bad guys, especially not since other countries that have a better trained military have demonstrated you don't need to make enemies out of those people if you can put up the slighest of peacekeeping efforts. The big problem is US troops are only trained for combat and not much else. As a result they're horrible peacekeepers who only think and operate along the lines of 'find enemies, kill them' and throw any common sense and decent strategic thinking overboard.
So who was it that executed 17 people for dancing in public 2 months ago then?
 

Kungfu_Teddybear

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Fuck sake, and I've been using Battlefield 3 for training to become a pilot. This article has ruined my dreams!
 

Wicky_42

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albino boo said:
Blablahb said:
Hornet0404 said:
Well you could argue that combatants that hide amongst the civilian populace (Taliban) and don't discriminate between other combatants and innocent civilians are "bad guys" (most terrorist organizations) regardless of what their holy book says.

But hey that's just me.
But the 'Taliban' as in evil religious zealots who are the archenemies of everything we stand for, died out years ago.

What's dubbed Taliban these days are a mix of drug lord militias, tribal fighters motivated by tribe vs tribe issues, outraged Afghans who've been mistreated by US troops or heard of that happening to others, and the actual religious zealots.

Their motivations differ as a result. Especially the victims of US troops' brutal and unprofessional conduct (which you hear a lot of in Afghanistan) can't really be seen as the bad guys, especially not since other countries that have a better trained military have demonstrated you don't need to make enemies out of those people if you can put up the slighest of peacekeeping efforts. The big problem is US troops are only trained for combat and not much else. As a result they're horrible peacekeepers who only think and operate along the lines of 'find enemies, kill them' and throw any common sense and decent strategic thinking overboard.
So who was it that executed 17 people for dancing in public 2 months ago then?
ooh, ooh, let me guess - Russia? No, they are the ones who incarcerate young women for singing in Cathedrals... the US? No they just summarily execute double amputees in their own homes for wielding a pen (it's mightier than a sword, don't you know?), whilst slaughtering thousands of people in countries they are not at war with using weapons of terror.

Or do you mean a bunch of people living by their own laws in their own societies on the other side of the world, that frequently get fucked up by foreign interference and invasion, and that subsequently have a legitimate basis upon which to found their religion-distorted anger and hatred?

I don't know, I have no idea what event you are talking about. Presumably not one of the wedding parties or funeral processions that the US has bombed - there's just so much killing going on it all starts to blur together.

But we've stick at it and kill all those people because... erm, politics? Ideology? "Someone with the same skin colour/religion attacked us first!"? "They're different"?
 

Loonyyy

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It's interesting to contrast the attitudes of the British Armed Forces with that of the American ones (No, I'm not trying to be all anti-American). I read a book a while ago written by a British pilot from the WAH-64 Apache program who flew in Afghanistan, shortly before seeing the "Collatoral Murder" video where two American pilots seriously abused their position. I wonder if the difference in attitudes is a culture thing, or based on the military structures themselves.

I'd recommend that book Apache by Ed Macy, it's fascinating.

Captcha "laser beams". Oh no, Star Wars here we come.
 

Albino Boo

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Blablahb said:
albino boo said:
So who was it that executed 17 people for dancing in public 2 months ago then?
How does that change the fact that 'the Taliban' no longer exist and fall into different factions with different motivations? It's like you meant to make a random remark, but somehow ended up quoting my post.
Why would drug barons behead someone for dancing in public? There is no money in it, they gain nothing from it. The only people who do behead people for dancing in public are those driven by religious fanaticism i.e the same ideology of the Taliban pre the US invasion.
 

Elementary - Dear Watson

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Wicky_42 said:
Perhaps the RAF is better than the USAF at droning, but a recent investigation into the situation in Pakistan revealed that the strikes are targeted by mere pattern analysis, looking for groups of people that *may* be targets in a country that they are not at war with, against a people that has never attacked them. Around 25% of the casualties are civilians, including women and children. Just 2% of the casualties are suspected of being high profile targets.

These drones hover above neighbourhoods for days, terrorising people until they are afraid to go to school, work, to weddings or funerals for fear that some computer program somewhere will find their movements suspicious and lob a missile at them, wait a bit, then lob a missile at anyone trying to aid survivors.

America is now a terrorist nation, at the very least to the ordinary people of Pakistan. They flout international law, arbitrarily slaughter thousands of people and get away with it through shear audacity. Drones and their repercussions are pretty seriously terrifying - if this sort of continuous terrorism was happening in the States... well, things would get pretty hilariously hypocritical pretty freaking fast.

So yeah, sit there telling yourself about all your careful rules of engagement and target selection, but that just further distances yourself from the reality of what is happening when you pick up that control and fly your war machine over a nation that has no quarrel with you.

EDIT: source [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/25/drone-attacks-pakistan-counterproductive-report]
First of all I will point out that I am a trained RAF targeteer... I know the British processes like the back of my hand, so trust me when I say about all the processes involved... I cannot account for the US though... especially their non-military stuff... that is all far beyond my pay bracket!

The problem with Pakistan is that it is all in the tribal controlled FATA area that is creating problems... this is an area that is disregarded by the pakistani government when it suits them, but is suddenly theirs again when suits them too... the area harbours and facilitates terrorists in the area, and contributes to a lot of the terrorism in Afghan, where the insurgents will just then hop back over the border to Pakistan and hide... and the Pakistani government don't do anything about it... no border control, no troops, they just let the area do what it wants... the US got so annoyed with this that they got permission to strike in that area... I don't know anything about the actual ops they do though, as I am RAF and we don't strike there ourselves... we have enough on our plate! :p
 

Grant Stackhouse

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Gilhelmi said:
Ah, That is fascinating. I do feel bad for them, being disrespected just because they are flying the first generation of the new planes. The future of piloting the new air force.

I imagine a world where even passenger jets will be flown from by remote. No more pilots sleeping on the job, no more drunk pilots allowed anywhere near the flight controls. If a pilot is tired from an 8 hour shift (no more 60 weeks) switch out pilots, passengers will never know. The possibilities are endless.
And if the pilot has to go AFK for 15 minutes to take a poo-poo, the passengers will never know...

Don't take this too seriously, but I can already imagine the banner ads..."Get paid 75,000 per year without ever leaving your home! Become a commercial airline pilot in just one month! All you need is an internet connection! Online courses starting now! Sign up today!"
 

Proeliator

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Kuala BangoDango said:
Umm, hello. Good Guys/Bad Guys is a child's notion.
Its whatever helps them sleep at night bro... whatever helps.

iblis666 said:
As for wars fought in general the only necessary wars the US has fought recently were WWII and Afghanistan...
I feel like Korea was necessary, considering it's still not resolved.
 

1337mokro

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How to view the camera's on these droids: A big monitor...
How to control these droids: With a console controller...
How to train for these missions: With a flight simulator...
How do you control the predator drones: From a simulated cockpit... with joysticks...

No disrespect to the regular army personnel. But it is a videogame.

It is a horrible videogame where people die from random bomb drops, collateral fire and simple logistics errors. But it is still a videogame.

The horrors of what you have done will haunt you when your realize you bombed another school instead of the terrorist hideout your thought maybe was there. But it's still a videogame.

You go through unnecessary physical training sure and there is no difference between launching a missile, firing a tank shell from a mile distance or dropping bombs from the earths stratosphere. But it is still a videogame.

You're no less nor more of a soldier than the guy who flies a jet over a hospital to bomb it.

PS: All disrespect contained in this post is aimed to politicians and generals that view human lives as expandable and collateral damage.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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What, and players don't think about everything they do? Admittedly, we get much less subtle clues at to who to shoot, but we still choose to shoot them. ^^

But really, what I want to know is simple: If you're good at videogames, do those skills carry over to piloting an unmanned aircraft. I don't care how careless this guy thinks gamers inherently are, or how serious the job is. That's not what's meant to be the issue here. Just because you have played videogames does not automatically mean you cannot take things seriously in real life, or that you will mow people down if given the chance.
 

theultimateend

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Greg Tito said:
"I've had the accusation levelled that it's a Star Wars game. It's anything but. If we act like it's Star Wars, there are people in the command center watching us and listening to what we do," said a drone pilot going by the name of Oz. "The taking of human life is not something to be considered lightly. OK, they are bad guys we are killing, but they are still human beings."
There are over a hundred thousand dead Iraqi civilians that, if they could, would probably wish anyone higher ranking than this guy actually believed what he just said.

Not much else to be added without getting crass and likely getting in trouble
 

Gilhelmi

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Grant Stackhouse said:
Gilhelmi said:
Ah, That is fascinating. I do feel bad for them, being disrespected just because they are flying the first generation of the new planes. The future of piloting the new air force.

I imagine a world where even passenger jets will be flown from by remote. No more pilots sleeping on the job, no more drunk pilots allowed anywhere near the flight controls. If a pilot is tired from an 8 hour shift (no more 60 weeks) switch out pilots, passengers will never know. The possibilities are endless.
And if the pilot has to go AFK for 15 minutes to take a poo-poo, the passengers will never know...

Don't take this too seriously, but I can already imagine the banner ads..."Get paid 75,000 per year without ever leaving your home! Become a commercial airline pilot in just one month! All you need is an internet connection! Online courses starting now! Sign up today!"
THE HORROR, THE HORROR.

The thought truly did not cross my mind.

OH THE HORROR.
 

Strazdas

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I bet the "hey lets crash here and see how npc reacts" doesnt fly in the military.

Don't take this too seriously, but I can already imagine the banner ads..."Get paid 75,000 per year without ever leaving your home! Become a commercial airline pilot in just one month! All you need is an internet connection! Online courses starting now! Sign up today!"
and thne you get a lag-spike from your house and it ends up in flames. i bet the ISP would them be forced to finally turn those 80s cables into riber optics rest of the world is already using.
 

Mikkel421427

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I believe, (provided i found the right one and not some offensive one) that i found a story sort of built up around this sort of scenario. And guess what? It was released, in a fiction edition in this very webmagazine!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_143/3075-Griefer
 

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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draythefingerless said:
Its good that he recognizes the weight of a human life, but there are no bad guys in war. just bad moments.
I reacted to that comment too. Bad guys make it sound like he is thinking of it as a video game. There are people fighting for a different cause, people who might have killed you given the chance. Good or bad in a war is all about perspective, not something objective.