Recently, two former drone operators of the United States Air Force have stepped forward to denounce the American drone program. The two ex-operators are claiming that the drone program has led to the growth and expansion of the Islamic State.
Former drone operators Stephen Lewis and Cian Westmoreland spoke at a press conference, in which they both expressed major concerns about the drone program. They stated that the people living in the targeted regions are being negatively impacted.
Westmoreland stated at the conference, “There’s always the off-chance that you could end up targeting someone that’s completely innocent, and that’s usually confirmed as an enemy kill. Those enemies aren’t always enemies. A military-aged male is 12 years old.”
Also at the press conference were two other former drone operators of the Air Force who have since criticized the drone program, Brandon Bryan and Michael Haas. The two men are starring in an upcoming documentary titled Drone: The Documentary. The film is set to be released this weekend.
During the press conference, Bryan cited the statistic that for every four kills that are made by drones, ten new terrorists are created.
Bryan said, “They’re mostly tribal warrior culture. You arm these people, and they’re going to want revenge.”
Bryan also stated that terrorists make use of the aftermath of drone strikes in order to recruit new members. Indeed, the pain and suffering caused by current practices of the United States military could very well be helping ISIS obtain new recruits.
The director of the upcoming documentary Tonje Hessen Schei said, “Drones have changed warfare and our future, without us having a proper debate on what this means morally, ethically or legally. The U.S. is setting an extremely dangerous precedent with their use of drones, killing thousands of people outside of declared warzones. The U.S. drone program is creating more militants than it kills. We are adding more fuel to the fire.”
Needless to say, there are many complicated issues associated with the usage of drones. It’s fair to wonder if the fallout from the use of such technology is worth the advantages.