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Composition and Rhetoric

Research Essay Final Draft:


Are drones the future of war?

In the last few years the popularity of drones has grown, because of its public
commercialization. With them the common person can get perfect shots for a film or just have a
new kind of hobby while flying it. But it has more important uses than being the new favorite toy
of the current society. The advances on technology permit drones developers have better cameras
and controls over them, also now they can carry bombs. The utility of this unmanned aerial
vehicles(UAV) in war is huge with them the number of death pilots is zero, and they can carry
enough weaponry to attack a big number of targets. But are drones really the future of war?
Some people (in most of the cases citizens of the countries that are using them) defend that they
certainly are the future, yet another big percentage of the population say they are not.

In contrast of what the majority of people may think drones are not new. The first attempt
of having aircrafts without a pilot on board is on the 1900's and on the Second World War the
first drones were used by the Nazis and the US army. These ones were just remote control
airplanes used to train the antiaircraft gunners. In the moment when this drones became more
useful was on the Cold War exactly on the Vietnam War. The United States created the
reconnaissance drones, that capture intelligence of the battlefield and of the enemy(Bergen). A
few years later the Iranians created the first armed drones that were equipped with RPGs. Since
the 9/11 US have invested millions of dollars to construct new armed drones (UACV). This new
kind of drone has been used in their majority to attack Middle East countries on the denominated
War of Terror(Masters). In actuality the most complex battlefield is on Syrian soil, were
American, French, Russian, and Iranian drones attack the different groups on Syria.

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The pro drones group usually support that drones have enormous advantages for the
group that are using it, they can kill hundreds of enemies without having deaths of their pilots,
the cost of producing a drone is less than a normal airplane, and they can get almost to any place
and at anytime. It is logical for a president to seek the way were his soldiers would not die
quickly and in big amounts, drones are their solutions. In this way pilots stay on a military base
and control the UACVs and stay away from the combat, even if they mission fails and the enemy
destroys the drones it would only be material loses and not humans. In the other hand if the
mission is accomplished the drone could kill hundreds and destroy strategic compounds. For
example, on Pakistan the US army made 421 strikes in which they killed 2,489 to 3,989 citizens
and injured 1,158 to 1,738 with no American pilots killed(Hall), which is a great proportion of
enemies killed against killed soldiers. In the same way the price of drones is reduce in great
proportions,

the

UAVCs

do

not

need

seat,

ejection,

oxygen,

control

panel,

communication(microphones), and because they do not use pilots there is no necessity for a
uniform. Those factors may sound small and insignificant but they really make a difference, the
MQ-9 Reaper (popular UACV) unit cost is $ 16.9 million while a USAF F-15E (popular aircraft)
unit cost is $100 million(The Bureau). As we could see the cost of the drone is almost 80 times
less than the plane, which multiplied for the number of produced planes is and enormous amount
of money. One of the biggest strategical advantages of drones is that they can go to almost any
place quickly, unidentified and in any hour with the same efficiency. For the reason they are not
as heavy as normal aircrafts they can fly faster; also they use high definition cameras equipped
with especial sensors to see in especial locations, so they have a better visual range than what a
pilot on a common combat plane could have. In the same way almost any country has an UACV
radar, so attacks with drones are more effective than with planes(Brunts).
On the other hand there are serious arguments against drones, this are that the number of
civilians deaths are high, controllers may suffer from physiological illness, that it is not legal,
and in some occasions they kill citizens of their own country by accident. As we saw before they
number of deaths is enormous, but the US government says that the drones strikes have a
surgeon precision. This statement is false, for a drone to have an effective strike they have to fly
on an altitude of 10 to 15 km(Hall), so we a bomb is realized there is a big chance what they miss
calculated the landing spot of the bomb or that there are innocents in that place; it is not like a
sniper that shoots a bullet with extreme precision on one target. This happened on 2010 were 41

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were targeted but they killed 1147(Ackerman); it is normal for a gun to miss but the governments
lie about on how precise their strikes are. Just like regular soldiers (ground troop or pilots) may
suffer from physical wounds and physiological problems, drone controllers also can have some
physiological disorders. The post-traumatic disorder is the most common mental disorder on
soldiers after long periods of combat, so how is it possible for a soldier on the military base to
have the same kind of psychological disorder. The reason is they deal with enormous quantities
of stress, anxiety and pressure every day; also they could stay watching the same area on the
monitor for days until the target pass through, and when it does they will see the carnage in a
great view(Chatterjee) While normal combat pilots will leave after they made the attack, a drone
controller will see everything. As we saw before the most common use of drones is to fight
terrorism, but how governments can be sure that someone is a terrorist? Their answer is that they
are not really sure, their secret services realize investigation and they give a list of people that are
potential terrorist. When they gather enough information they proceed to strike, but this possible
terrorist must go to a trial before they are cataloged as terrorist or not (United Nations). Even
though the media has let as think that terrorist do not have human rights, actually they do. In the
same way some times the strike miss and kill innocent people that for bad luck were from their
own country, or a citizen of its country is a terrorist. A government cannot kill a citizen outside of
their soil and without a trial, so it is a crime. Even though US really do not have a lot of trouble
with this, countries like France and the United Kingdoms have problems dealing with
international law, national law, human rights and even with their own citizens(protests) (Cole).
In conclusion drones have really good this and really bad things as it was presented
before, so should people support it or not? This answer in most cases depend on the citizenship
of the person. All the citizens of rich countries like US or UK or France will support the use of
drones, even though in some cases there are people of their country killed. The reason is that it is
cheaper, their soldiers are safe and their enemies are killed in a faster way. On May 2015 Pew
Research Center published the results of a poll that showed that the 57 percent of US citizens
support the attacks using drones. In the other hand people on the Middle East would be against
them because, they have seen what drones are capable of doing. So is it a good idea to support
this extreme weapon on the future wars? In my opinion no, now only rich countries have a large
quantities of drones, but what will happen when the poor countries can create their own drones?
The use of drones would be outranged, millions of terrorist attacks all over the world at any hour

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and anywhere. Until now there is no way to annulated this weapons, like the antiaircraft with
planes, so there is no way to protect of this attacks. Also the advances on technology (video
game consoles, cell phones, computers, etc.) can be used to construed homemade armed drones
(Artherton). In fact there are no actual international laws that regulate or ban the use or
production of combat drones. If in the next few years laws are not created the result of the use
drones in war will be catastrophic.

References
Ackerman, Spencer. 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes the facts on the
ground. 14 November 2014. Web. 15 November 2015.
Artherton, Kelsey D. Smart Drones and Chep Misil Culd Work Together. 31 March 2015. Web.
12 November 2015.
Bergen, Peter. "Drone Wars." The Washington Quartely (2013): 20. Web.
Brunts, Daniel. Drones: The Future of Warfaare. 10 April 2014. Web. 10 November 2015.
Chatterjee, Pratap. A chilling new post-traumatic stress disorder: Why drone pilots are quitting
in record numbers. 6 March 2015. Web. 14 November 2015.
Cole, Chris. British drones and targeted killing. 08 September 2015. Web. 12 November 2015.
Hall, Abigail. Do Drones really reduce civialian casuaities? 14 April 2015. Web. 11 November
2015.
Masters, Jonathan. Target Killings . 23 May 2013. Web. 13 November 2015.
Merola, Victore. "The use of UAV for Military on a Foreing Country." UFRGS (2014): 44. Web.
Rayne, Sierra. The Future of Drones Warfare. 30 April 2015. Web. 10 November 2015.
The Bureau Journalism of Investigative. Get data: Drone Wars. 12 November 2015. Web. 15
November 2015.
United Nations. Ensuring the right to fair trial for terrorist suspects. 9 March 2012. Web. 14
November 2015.