The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR) have launched a new report on the use of armed drones. The report, Convenient Killing: Armed Drones and the ‘Playstation Mentality was launched at their successful day conference about armed drones on Saturday 18th September.
In the report, FoR urges the government to publish information about the use of drones and the casualties involved. “Armed drones involve a form of playstation warfare and risk creating a culture of convenient killing,” said FoR’s Amy Hailwood, “Drones reduce the physical and mental distance between operator and target and are likely to lower the threshold for launching an attack”.
Conservative estimates suggest that US drones in Pakistan kill one civilian for every two combatants, but the Ministry of Defence has refused to release any figures about the UK’s own drones. “These robotic weapons deserve much greater public scrutiny,” said Hailwood, “The government must address the accountability vacuum by releasing information about drone attacks and the casualties incurred”.
Drone use has risen sharply since 2001. The UK government has deployed three Reaper drones in Afghanistan, while other drones intended for UK forces are in development by BAE Systems. The UK also rents Hermes 450 drones from Israel on a ‘pay-by-the-hour’ basis. In July 2010, the government acknowledged hat the British Reaper drone had by that point fired its weapons 97 times in Afghanistan.
Categories: Drone campaigning