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Do you pull the trigger on the drone strike?

gdgyva

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?
 

Casper

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?
You go ahead and take the shot and the reason is that by allowing them to get away you would be guilty of far more murders than one little girl, maybe dozens of girls. It is harsh but one must weight the results of the two choices and do what is best for the most people.
 

gdgyva

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You go ahead and take the shot and the reason is that by allowing them to get away you would be guilty of far more murders than one little girl, maybe dozens of girls. It is harsh but one must weight the results of the two choices and do what is best for the most people.

that was and is my position as well

but my wife reminded me of a line from the movie.....

" the terrorists have to kill numerous people to lose the pc war; we just have to kill one innocent, and it is lost"

how many retribution strikes because somehow we killed innocents along with our actual targets in these wars?
 

cpwill

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?

CDE calls can indeed involve the death of innocents.

The guidance from the Geneva Conventions is that the loss to civilians should be at most proportional to the military advantage achieved.

I would say this case more than meets that standard.

that was and is my position as well

but my wife reminded me of a line from the movie.....

" the terrorists have to kill numerous people to lose the pc war; we just have to kill one innocent, and it is lost"

how many retribution strikes because somehow we killed innocents along with our actual targets in these wars?

That's a stupid line. How many Germans or Japanese were committing terror attacks against Americans in the 1950s because we flattened their country in the 1940s?

If you are trying to fight a PC war in the first place, you've probably already crippled yourself. War isn't PC, it's real. One of the major problems with Drones and PGMs, actually, is that we have gotten so good at reducing civilian casualties that we have raised expectations above that which is plausibly achievable while still achieving desired effects.
 

Casper

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that was and is my position as well

but my wife reminded me of a line from the movie.....

" the terrorists have to kill numerous people to lose the pc war; we just have to kill one innocent, and it is lost"

how many retribution strikes because somehow we killed innocents along with our actual targets in these wars?
As a soldier one has to do what is best, never really cared about the PR wars, that is left those that manipulate the truth.
 

joG

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?

That is the Fat Man Paradox. It gained fame, because it turned out to depend on how the experiment was structured which of two contradictory solutions the majority chose.
 

gdgyva

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That is the Fat Man Paradox. It gained fame, because it turned out to depend on how the experiment was structured which of two contradictory solutions the majority chose.

well in the movie i can tell you there were military people and politicians

and most of the politicians didnt want to make the decision....they wanted to pass the buck to their superiors

the drama was whether or not the shot would be taken....and who would finally give the ok to proceed, or would they proceed at all?

it was fascinating look at the way today's wars are played out in rooms far from the action....

and it definitely made you think....gotta love that about a movie
 

joG

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well in the movie i can tell you there were military people and politicians

and most of the politicians didnt want to make the decision....they wanted to pass the buck to their superiors

the drama was whether or not the shot would be taken....and who would finally give the ok to proceed, or would they proceed at all?

it was fascinating look at the way today's wars are played out in rooms far from the action....

and it definitely made you think....gotta love that about a movie

It really does sound like a good movie.
 

jonny5

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?

SPOILER alert need. Good movie that everyone might want to see.

The answer is no, you have snipers take them out. They had plenty of time to arrange this, but politics got in the way. The goal should be to use such strikes as a last resort, not a first.
 

Rogue Valley

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Most armed US military drones are flown from either MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida (CENTCOM HQ) or Creech Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada (432d Wing). An estimated 1,700 specialists are involved. There are currently ~980 pilots and the military would like to increase this to ~1,400 drone pilots to attenuate flying time and minimize stress. A reenlistment bonus (5+ year commitment) of $125,000 is offered. Most new RPA trainees are assigned to a class of 24 (558th Flying Training Squadron) at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. It is hoped that 16 classes of new drone pilots (384) will graduate per year. All Predator drones are to be phased out from 2016-2018. Armed CIA drones are being transferred to Pentagon (JSOC) control.
 

gdgyva

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this is the second movie i have seen where drone pilots are somewhat center stage lately

Saw "Good Kill" just a few months back

And now this one.....

it seems that these pilots are having a much harder time than the pilots who actually were in country, in combat dropping their bombs or firing their missiles

killing people from 10k miles away may be easier in some ways, but much much harder in others
 

Rogue Valley

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this is the second movie i have seen where drone pilots are somewhat center stage lately

Saw "Good Kill" just a few months back

And now this one.....

it seems that these pilots are having a much harder time than the pilots who actually were in country, in combat dropping their bombs or firing their missiles

killing people from 10k miles away may be easier in some ways, but much much harder in others
Actually, the pilot is usually restricted to flight and navigation duties. A second cockpit officer manages the on-board weapons.

No missile can be fired without the verbal authorization of the mission commander, who is the third and ranking cockpit officer.
 

Mithrae

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that was and is my position as well

but my wife reminded me of a line from the movie.....

" the terrorists have to kill numerous people to lose the pc war; we just have to kill one innocent, and it is lost"

how many retribution strikes because somehow we killed innocents along with our actual targets in these wars?

I think you mean PR war, but that's not the problem. One anonymous girl is very unlikely to inspire mass terrorism. The problem is that once those kinds of calculations become accepted routine, the innocent lives become nothing more than numbers. They probably have to become nothing more than numbers, to preserve the killers' sanity. Like Marilyn Manson said, the death of one is a tragedy, death of a million is just a statistic. And that's the kind of thing which led, for example, to up to a million civilians killed by economic sanctions to punish Saddam Hussein; and that sort of thing does inspire mass terrorism.
 

Casper

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SPOILER alert need. Good movie that everyone might want to see.

The answer is no, you have snipers take them out. They had plenty of time to arrange this, but politics got in the way. The goal should be to use such strikes as a last resort, not a first.

One can always get within sniper range and snipers do not take on groups of men for good reason. If the drone is available and on site you use it, you save more lives than are lost.
 

cpwill

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SPOILER alert need. Good movie that everyone might want to see.

The answer is no, you have snipers take them out. They had plenty of time to arrange this, but politics got in the way. The goal should be to use such strikes as a last resort, not a first.

Inserting snipers often introduces more risk, not less. Especially given time. Especially given Africa, where even getting a Drone on station is time-exhaustive.
 

cpwill

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this is the second movie i have seen where drone pilots are somewhat center stage lately

Saw "Good Kill" just a few months back

And now this one.....

it seems that these pilots are having a much harder time than the pilots who actually were in country, in combat dropping their bombs or firing their missiles

killing people from 10k miles away may be easier in some ways, but much much harder in others

I think it's not being deployed.
 

Diving Mullah

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?


There is no simple answer to this, and anyone who says there is, really don't understand anything...

Btw, if you liked that movie I highly recommend unthinkable. with Samuel L Jackson....far more many many lines of gray and though decisions....


Diving Mullah
 

radcen

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?
You do it. It sucks, it seriously sucks, but you do it.

Purposely haven't read any other responses, yet. I will now do so.
 

jonny5

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Inserting snipers often introduces more risk, not less. Especially given time. Especially given Africa, where even getting a Drone on station is time-exhaustive.

It was just one possible solution. They should not have begun the operation without a team nearby on the ground who could act on the intelligence being gathered. Much like using a drone bomb to execute the Dallas gunman, they resorted to maximum force when measured force was available.
 

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Here's a thought: How about a mandatory job change within six months for anyone who knowingly makes a decision which will cost innocent lives?

That would both A) ensure that such a decision is never made lightly and more importantly B) ensure that it never becomes routine for any person, and so cannot become just a numbers game (and thus a decision made lightly).

No judgement or condemnation, because sometimes those decisions need to be made; but maybe no-one should be allowed (or worse, expected) to make them more than once? Some exemptions for military officers in wartime may be necessary.
 

MaggieD

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My wife and I rented a fairly new movie over the weekend...

"eye in the sky" starring Helen Mirren & Aaron Paul

Even though i liked the movie, i wanted this thread to discuss the gist of the movie, not the movie itself

My wife and I talked about the implication for 45 minutes after the film was over, and we still werent seeing eye to eye as it is

Here is the basic synopsis of the film and the question i want to pose to the board

You have a drone targeting a building, wherein sits the # 2, 4, and 5 most wanted people on the continent of Africa for war crimes and terrorists acts committed against the US, England and other assorted countries. In the building are also two suicide bombers who are at this moment being fitted with suicide vests that will kill innocent men, women, and children of some unknown number at some unknown place in the very near future.

There is a problem though. Calculations of the blast mean that you will also kill an 11 year old girl who is selling bread for her family just feet away from the building where all of this is going on unbeknownst to her. Just a lovely little girl who has never harmed anyone....

If you wait, the terrorists and bombers get away.....

If you pull the trigger, you murder a little girl....

What say you.....do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the ONE?

I could not be responsible for knowingly killing an 11-year-old child. That's why we train our soldiers so thoroughly to obey orders. And that's why so many come home a hot mess.
 

gdgyva

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There is no simple answer to this, and anyone who says there is, really don't understand anything...

Btw, if you liked that movie I highly recommend unthinkable. with Samuel L Jackson....far more many many lines of gray and though decisions....


Diving Mullah

saw it a number of years ago

another one of those where you walk out of theatre talking to yourself, and wondering just how far do we have to go in some situations

and then wondering if we had just gone over that line, would more lives have been saved?

this is the exact question the CIA, the military, and other type organizations have been asking for decades

waterboarding was one of their answers
 

gdgyva

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It was just one possible solution. They should not have begun the operation without a team nearby on the ground who could act on the intelligence being gathered. Much like using a drone bomb to execute the Dallas gunman, they resorted to maximum force when measured force was available.

see the movie

ground action was NOT available

i dont want to say anything more than that here
 

VanceMack

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I think you mean PR war, but that's not the problem. One anonymous girl is very unlikely to inspire mass terrorism. The problem is that once those kinds of calculations become accepted routine, the innocent lives become nothing more than numbers. They probably have to become nothing more than numbers, to preserve the killers' sanity. Like Marilyn Manson said, the death of one is a tragedy, death of a million is just a statistic. And that's the kind of thing which led, for example, to up to a million civilians killed by economic sanctions to punish Saddam Hussein; and that sort of thing does inspire mass terrorism.
Its not the terrorist response that would cause damage...its the news agencies back home that would run millions of stories about the girl, freeze framed and centered as the cost of war, and the expression of our lack of humanity that would cause others to lose the will to fight. Its crazy that people in this country can ignore an entire village of people murdered at the hands of ISIS, with men being forced to watch as the women and girls are raped and then have their throats cut and little children are literally having their heads bashed in with rocks before the final execution of the men...but one image of a little girl before and after a drone strike would spark protests an outrage.
 

VanceMack

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I could not be responsible for knowingly killing an 11-year-old child. That's why we train our soldiers so thoroughly to obey orders. And that's why so many come home a hot mess.
Theres a bit of a myth to that soldiers coming home as hot messes thing. Its a projected perception, but not necessarily the reality. We find we have at least as many suicides and soldiers suffering PTSD symptoms in thsoe that never even deployed. Most of those that come back and are diagnosed didnt see combat. Of those that did, the bigger complaint is usually of loss of a battle buddy more so than the action or act of war. Survivors guilt is huge.
 
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