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Thursday, August 14

War is hell even when you fight it from LA

From CBSNews.com: The Air National Guardsmen who operate Predator drones over Iraq via remote control, launching deadly missile attacks from the safety of Southern California 7,000 miles away, are suffering some of the same psychological stresses as their comrades on the battlefield.

Working in air-conditioned trailers, Predator pilots observe the field of battle through a bank of video screens and kill enemy fighters with a few computer keystrokes. Then, after their shifts are over, they get to drive home and sleep in their own beds.
What stress? Well it turns out that if you fly in a real fighter jet, you just drop the bomb and fly away not seeing the damage on the ground. But if you fight the war from 7,000 miles away like in a video game, you get to see up close what devastation you have wrought via clear images brought back to you via video because the drones stick around after they bomb the shit out of an area. It could leave someone with a semblance of a conscience a bit shaken. But then again, you don't have to worry about crashing or getting shot out of the sky.

Then you get to drive home and see the wife and kids and have a nice dinner.

"They're putting a missile down somebody's chimney and taking out bad guys, and the next thing they're taking their wife out to dinner, their kids to school," said Herz, a Ph.D. who interviewed pilots and sensor operators for a doctoral dissertation on human error in Predator accidents.
But it's not all bad.
Col. Gregg Davies, commander of the 214th Reconnaissance Group in Tucson, Ariz., said he knows of no member of his team who has experienced any trauma from launching a Predator attack.

Himself a Predator pilot, Davies said he has found the work rewarding.
Indeed. He's saving lives.

And isn't it fascinating how the US has the technology to fly planes clear across the world and cause devastation with pinpoint accuracy? Verrrry interesting. Really makes you wonder what else they are doing with that technology. But I'm no conspiracy theorist. I am sure that this technology is only being used for good.

h/t farang

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