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Attack Drones: Freedom is so fucked

Armchair freedom fighters like me count on there remaining some parity between the forces of oppression and man’s inexorable drive to be free. Masses can repel the few, nonviolence can shame the hesitant, terrorism can haunt the genteel, IEDs can pick off the occupiers, training can dispatch the sentries, but how to overcome automatons? We’ve confronted impregnable drones in scifi movies, and now such drones have become reality. They’re bits of nothing in the air really, but a literal boatload of firepower has got their back.

The Economist reports that drones can monitor the activity of shoeboxes from an altitude of near-space, beyond the range of an RPG fired from a hot air balloon. A drone’s vulnerability remains its communications channels, but even intercepting those is outside the realm of non-military technology.

While drones reduce the exposure of real soldiers to harm’s way, they increase a military force’s effectiveness. Drones are lauded as cheaper to operate as conventional jet fighters, but in reality their functionality draws on greater resources. The Economist writes of a drone the size of a corporate jet called a Global Hawk, which requires a staff of 20 to 30 to operate. Many more than would be necessary inside a C130 gunship, but of course, almost all of them manning new killing devices.

So long as the empire has an unlimited budget to spend, Freedom Fighters are fucked, and terrorists will be the only recourse. The only target available to the adversary of a drone, is the command center which controls it. Be it in America, or a distant military base, that’s where the enemy will have to strike.

Or the American public will have to renounce the budget which affords this technology.

You may not be bothered by the notion that remote-operated drones can monitor human activities and rain destruction upon them when appropriate. The old, “what have I to fear if I’m doing nothing wrong?” Wait until you are the wrong side of the oppressors. Coca Cola kills union organizers in Colombia. Walmart would probably like to kill you in their parking lot if you are leaving with a shopping cart filled insufficiently relative to you debit card balance. They already know it, but a drone in their hands will give them the ability to find you.

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