War from afar: How the Pentagon fell in love with drones


In the last years of the twentieth century, two weapons changed the way that America fights air wars: smart bombs (bombs that “see” a target using a television camera or a radiation sensor, or that head for a programmed location) and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Smart bombs came into their own in the first Gulf War. Reconnaissance UAVs proved their worth in Bosnia and Kosovo in the late 1990s, and offensive UAVs began firing missiles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere a few years later.The American public got its first look at smart bombs on January 17,1991. Iraq had invaded Kuwait five months earlier, and President George H. Bush had put together a UN-backed coalition to force its withdrawal. Iraq had the world’s fourth-largest army, at 955,000 men, and it faced a coalition force only two-thirds that size. America’s last experience of a real war had been the long disaster of Vietnam—nineteen years from start to finish, 58,000 American dead, and 153,000 wounded—and even experienced military officers feared that the Gulf War might be a reprise of Vietnam. Gen. Edward Meyer, a former Army chief of staff, predicted that America would suffer ten thousand to thirty thousand casualties in driving Iraq out of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein was counting on exactly that and reportedly told U.S. ambassador April Glaspie, “Americans cannot stand 10,000 dead.”Continue Reading…

Sent by gReader Pro


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s