Is Drone Warfare a Net Benefit?

–Voicemail caller wonders whether drone warfare is a net benefit for humanity

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Broadcast on April 3, 2018


  1. D GE on September 19, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Drone warfare will be great, but with all the delays on communication lines, remote control is far too slow to be a viable option for the future. Only AI is capable to provide the real superhuman war machine.

    With AI equipped drones, the taxpayer will save lot’s of money as all these crappy fighter jets, aircraft carriers, tanks, soldiers… will be as redundant as the Maginot-line at the start of WWII.

    Future wars with adversary countries will be replaced by covert exploits of vulnerabilities within a targeted society. E.g. one of the most effective exploits conceivable would be to make the adversary country elect a totally inept, corrupt leader who destroys his own country. Sure, this is pure science fiction, but some time in the future it might really happen. Believe me!

  2. Celisar1 on September 19, 2020 at 11:21 am

    David, I am very disappointed with this incredibly superficial and false coverage of what drone warfare means!
    It means that the US are killing people in foreign countries permanently without a declaration of war.
    That is ironically by definition a war crime.
    It means that people are getting killed without a legal process, without the possibility to defend themselves and without a sentence.
    That is a blatent violation of human rights and a crime against humanity.
    Also there is no precision in killing with drones. Everytime bystanders get killed, civilians, women and children.
    This is a national shame but since it doesn’t happen in the US and not to US- Americans these crimes obviously don’t matter.
    This, torture prisons and illegal prisons like Guantanamo show the ugly face of the self- declared leader of the free world.
    No, I am not anti- American but deeply, deeply shocked and repelled by what has been going on since 9/11 and the completely missing public awareness and criticism of intolerable actions.

  3. none on September 19, 2020 at 11:23 am

    The future of warfare is drones. Imagine sending a fleet of thousands of computerized drones like a swarm where each communicates with each other to take out targets and that would be unstoppable.

  4. TheEshaw1 on September 19, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Drones most certainly kill more civilians than conventional warfare as far as I can tell, so that argument that they can target enemies more accurately is a disgusting lie

  5. LyricalDJ on September 19, 2020 at 11:24 am

    One other thing which _may_ be a factor is that I think using drones in warfare might raise the bar on sending troops for whatever purposes. Because you can already strike from safety, why would you want to risk your own peoples’ lives and your reputation (for, say, a politician) on sending in troops? And, as David points out, drones can’t provide aid.

    If true that makes a very one-dimensional, one-way conflict through drones much more ‘attractive’ than a classic approach. And anything which lowers the bar on using violence as the first (and possibly only) answer to a conflict is a negative in my view.

  6. Evil Doll on September 19, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Drones are just used as an excuse to kill brown people.

  7. Objective Ninja on September 19, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I’M A MONSTER!!!

  8. Ben Mangrum on September 19, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Anybody hear about the fire at Trump Tower?

  9. The Poltical One on September 19, 2020 at 11:29 am

    David you should really read the Obama era drone leaks

  10. Paul Adams on September 19, 2020 at 11:30 am

    We should start off by asking, if another nation were routinely using drones to attack people in our country, would we consider it a net benefit–basically, would we say "Thank you for targeting our civilians for assassinations without the mess of a ground invasion"? Obviously the answer is no, and there would be no ambiguity in declaring it a war crime.

  11. ziljin on September 19, 2020 at 11:32 am

    If it can lead to universal basic income and not Skynet, then keep it up!

  12. Greg Miller on September 19, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Drones are a terrorist weapon and only terrorist would use them.

  13. Norest on September 19, 2020 at 11:36 am

    as little pilots that die on bombing missions, you cant really say that drones save many lives
    problem is more in how much other nations hate america for bombing countries with remote toys

  14. James Armstrong on September 19, 2020 at 11:37 am

    What do you mean you don’t know if it’s true that they’re more accurate? do some research

  15. Sammy McFone on September 19, 2020 at 11:37 am

    "Lots of little pieces down there" Modern Warfare 2

  16. IamMANnumber1 on September 19, 2020 at 11:39 am

    This guy is toxic to fuck.

  17. aviomarin7 on September 19, 2020 at 11:40 am

    It’s interesting teachers strike is relegated to bonus show when all the sensationalistic Stormy Daniels news is always on the main show.

  18. Kamal Mortoza on September 19, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Whatever the US uses against the poor third world today will be used against us tomorrow. The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance – Confucius.

  19. UnoriginalUsername25 on September 19, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Can’t wait for everyone to call David a "neoliberal warmonger shill" for this. /s

  20. leonard eisensein on September 19, 2020 at 11:45 am

    HELL NO!!!

  21. Batou's vision on September 19, 2020 at 11:46 am

    I’m not necessarily for or Against drones but David says that there is a desensitization of human life with the use of drones. I’m unsure exactly where he’s coming from with that assertion. The last two Wars we have been in were begun before drones were in widespread use but we entered into the conflict anyway. I would call that a disregard for human life seeing as we didn’t have particularly valid reasons for entering either of the last two Wars. Again I’m not saying drones are a good thing I’m just not sure David P. is right on this one. which is fine, keep up the good work David.

  22. Cy5208 on September 19, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Are they still using signature drone strikes? Hmm he could be a terrorist, oh well close enough fire sway. Its a War crime but since it’s foreigners it doesn’t matter.

  23. HappyandAtheist on September 19, 2020 at 11:51 am

    it is a benift to our solider that do not have to go in and get killed when a drone can do the job. Bugger the enemy our peoples lives matter more.

  24. VisibleSigns on September 19, 2020 at 11:52 am

    I am truly concerns with the direction of with drone warfare. We’re trying to create "safe" wars with increasing distance between us and the consequences. We’re turning war into a thing that just happens in the far background, something that we’ve become so used to that after 17 straight years of warfare we don’t even *feel* like we’re at war.

    This is going in a *very* dangerous direction. The next step to this is to give the machines the authority to decide whether to kill. We are likely to see more types of drones, including ground vehicles, and they *will* eventually start making kill decisions on their own, while we the masters sit back in safety and watch the death happen.

  25. Darth Locus on September 19, 2020 at 11:54 am

    The title of this video isnt a question. Natural law is— do no harm. One law. Do no harm. By this definition all politions are criminals.

  26. SID Truth on September 19, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Paul Kilby 🌹 🇪🇺
    David Pakman some parents will be very proud ?

  27. Petr Vita on September 19, 2020 at 11:54 am

    You should see documentary National Bird (2016) to get better idea about collateral damage.

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  29. Tyvonix72 on September 19, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I really love your show, David. I disagree with a lot of your viewpoints but one thing I think we can both agree on is that not many people approach these political issues with logic and facts nowadays. That’s one thing I appreciate about your commentary. Keep up the good work!

  30. Steven Georges on September 19, 2020 at 11:57 am

    If you parent with a kid that is draft or enlist age, you are very much in favor of drones. For both short and long term end results. As a parent, they are the same.

  31. Tew Pow on September 19, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    An interesting thing to think about is that the rates of posttraumatic stress disorder between a soldier who has been physically in the field and killed somebody and a drone pilot who has killed somebody are pretty much exactly the same. Killing someone can be extremely damaging to someone’s psyche regardless of how it is done.

  32. Claptrap Claptrap on September 19, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Video games are already pretty realistic these days and graphics improve all the time – how people react to game characters in war games, could be an indicator of how they react in net warfare – how much sympathy they show towards civilians or is it OK to blow up a few houses with families in it in order to get to the enemy? Will the line between a game and reality merge so that emotionally the operators of the drones cannot tell the difference any more? Should war ethics play a bigger role in games to preserve humane reactions in decision making, to replace the experience of facing your enemy or innocent civilians face to face? Will the operators also suffer PSTD?

  33. Juan Castillo on September 19, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Did no one else watch Gundam Wing?

  34. Stumpy Plank on September 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    You could pull an advert behind each drone for extra revenue. When bombing innocent people at weddings the drones could play music, so at least the survivors feel a bit better about themselves. You’re welcome.

  35. Patrick Booth on September 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Autonomous Warfare is a tool of fascists that fail to recognize the humanity of their targets. Sacrificing GDP and Resources harvested for the purpose of destruction.

  36. Lenard Segnitz on September 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Automated warfare has decreased the political barriers to waging war. Don’t need to conscript anyone! Few if any casualties in the professional army. Much cheaper than sending fully manned weapons systems. It’s all fun and games when you’re on the winning side.

    Are you sure you’ll forever be on the winning side? The American empire will never end, right? Just like the Babylonian empire, Egyptian empire, Greek empire, Persian empire, Roman empire, British empire. The American empire is sowing the seeds of future retaliation.

    The future empire(s) will thank Americans for the weapons they developed to be used to crush them.

  37. Paul Wilgus on September 19, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Maybe fewer of our troops are being killed but more of their citizens are being killed. And it’s easier to say oops when it’s electronic than when it is a human mistake.

  38. Matt Lanagan on September 19, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    When ppl say drones are more targeted and less dangerous to Americans, they’re assuming that the op would otherwise be run in a different way. Maybe compare it to not running the op at all?

  39. SirToby on September 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Jesus Christ, no. Read the 2014 reports about algorithmic targeting. Then come back and talk to me about efficiancy and accuracy.
    Drone Warfare was developed for the same reason the lethal injection was: To make killing people as non-traumatic as possible, *for the people doing the killing* .

  40. geezzerboy on September 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    If Trump has to kill his enemies, with Drones, on the other side of the world, how can he hear da lamentations of der women?

  41. IamMANnumber1 on September 19, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Davids liberal random killing philosophy is so wholesome and logically framed. What could possibly be wrong with remotely killing innocent men, women and children as long as we’re conscious of our limitations as a fucking war-mongering genocidal plutocracy???

    Fuck off Pakman.

  42. Henry Salazar on September 19, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    I wonder when David is coming out with a video about the protesters being killed by Israel 🤔🤔🤔

  43. Open Your eyes on September 19, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Cost to much, in the long term

  44. aunt jenifer on September 19, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    "You will never see it COMING, think I’m kidding !?" (Obamda on predatory drones) I think that says it all.

  45. Robert Mills on September 19, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Allegedly, trump was watching a drone pilot during an exercise last year. The pilot had the target in his sights, but waited until the target wandered a distance from his house so to not cause collateral damage (his family who were NOT targets). After the drone pilot completed the objective, trump allegedly asked, "why did you wait?".
    Can you confirm this?

  46. Donald Hariot on September 19, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    This is just a horrible question. Are tax havens in the Cayman islands good? They save Americans money!

  47. Gary Turbo on September 19, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Drone srtikes are basically extermination

  48. Maui Dan96 on September 19, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Drones are great but I’m afraid the wrong people are gonna start getting their hands on drones. I’ve written to my legislators about this national security issue, and they’ve been putting more restrictions and such on private drones, which are much need. Sorry for rambling about something unrelated, but it’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed. As for drone warfare, I think it is a work in progress.

  49. Post-Left Perspective on September 19, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Because of course American lives are more important than everyone else’s.

  50. Abject Permanence on September 19, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    The US drone program is terrorism.

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