Ode to Joystick

“When their shifts end, the airmen and women drive to their subdivisions alone, like clerks in an office park. One minute they are at war; the next they are at church or picking up their kids from school. A retired pilot, Jeff Bright, who served at Creech for five years, described the bewildering nature of the transition. ‘I’d literally just walked out on dropping bombs on the enemy, and 20 minutes later I’d get a text — can you pick up some milk on your way home?” You’d think that fighting a war by controlling a drone from thousands of miles away would have a much lighter psychic toll than having boots on the ground. But fighting remote control battles brings its own form of trauma. From the NYT Magazine: The Wounds of the Drone Warrior.

+ Even when you factor the trauma associated with firing weapons from a drone, it’s still considerably less attractive to be on the receiving end. And that experience could become a lot more common in the future. The Center for Public Integrity: The world may soon be awash in advanced, lethal drones.

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