Professor Noel Sharkey from Sheffield, better known as one of the judges on the BBCTV show “Robot Wars” knows a thing or two about robots and artificial intelligence. He’s made a plea for more debate about the use of robot planes in warfare. (see link)
He’s said, “An international debate is needed on the use of autonomous military robots. A push toward more robotic technology used in warfare would put civilian life at grave risk.”
Actually, when you look at the statistics objectively and compare them to large conflicts, like WW1 for instance, a war that kicked off mechanised slaughter, then it’s bloomin’ obvious!
The BBC report says that,
Between January 2006 and April 2009, he estimated, 60 such “drone” attacks were carried out in Pakistan. While 14 al-Qaeda were killed, some 687 civilian deaths also occurred.
What this means is that 49 times as many civilians as combatants were killed!
This is truly horrendous.
Now lets look at the statistics from the dawn of mechanised slaughter, the war to end all wars, the war where the Last Tommy has just died….?
World War 1 Stats
In WW1, Germany invaded France, and the war was largely fought in Belgium and France. On the battlefields and surrounding areas, many civilians died, as well as combatants, (source statistics here). Here we go:
- Military Deaths = 1,397,800
- Civilian Deaths = 300,000
- Military Deaths = 58,637
- Civilian Deaths = 62,000
Even including all countries involved, the statistics are stark. Forget about the actual (huge) numbers – look at the proportions:
- Total Military Deaths in WW1 = 9,721,937
- Total Civilian Deaths in WW1 = 6,821,248
So overall, 0.7 civilians died for each soldier.
If we scale up the drone usage deaths into a global conflict sized scenario (and knowing the military, this is exactly what they’d do), and using the military deaths in WW1 as a starting point, how many civilians would die as the armchair pilots sought their foes?
9,721,937 x 49 = 476,374,000
This is about the whole population of Europe!
Professor Starkey is completely correct. If this is not a definition of the term “putting civilian life at grave risk“, then what is?
…and this is without attaching nuclear weapons to the planes…!!!
Of course, the effect of the usage of these machines and tactics is hardly likely to win over the Pakistani and Afghan tribesmen (the current targets) when every time one flies over a whole family is wiped out, is it? So you have to ask yourselves,
If ‘The West’ is really trying to ‘win hearts and minds’ as they say, then what the fuck are they playing at?
in other words,
It looks like the real game is to continue the ‘war against terror’ to ensure that our people stay cowed and afraid and to justify the existence of the ‘military industrial complex’.
Just like the government in the film, “V for Vendetta”.