In David Ignatious's new novel, Blood Mony, the Pakistani who is out for revenge has had his family wiped out by a predator drone. Discussing this point, during an interview for the book, leads to a casual conversation about what is coming. Sometimes the casual conversations (without all the hedging) can be the most illuminating.
So we've turned increasingly to these weapons, which from a weapon designer standpoint, are wonderful. They fly at 10,000 feet, they're really not typically observable, they're very accurate, they have persistent radar and cameras that allow you to see with great detail. And I think that in a way, the United States is getting addicted to the use of Predators. They're too easy an answer to problems that we have. They allow you to exercise power without putting your own soldiers on the ground at risk.
They allow you to kill people from 10,000 feet, which seems, to our public, I think wrongly, less bloody than if we did it right up close standing next to someone with a gun. And the use of them is spreading. I was distressed and wrote so in The Washington Post when it was announced that we were sending Predators armed with Hellfire missiles to Libya to that conflict. I will tell you, Diane, that the Saudis want to get Predators to shoot at their enemies along the Yemeni border, the Turks want to get Predators to shoot at their enemies in Kurdistan.
We're going to enter a world in which everybody's going to have some equivalent of this technology and you're going to have unarmed and unmanned drones flying all over taking out people that, you know, governments don't like. And I think we have slid into that world without thinking about it enough.
As an aside, he also has a CIA front run out of Hollywood Business called “The Hit List” (LOL).