Drone Wars in Afghanistan

US Air Force photo

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There’s been a windstorm of big news on the unmanned aerial vehicle front in the last 48 hours:

  • The LA Times released a stunning minute-by-minute narrative, “Anatomy of an Afghan War Tragedy,” detailing how US helicopters in Afghanistan, goaded by a Nevada-based drone pilot and cameraman, annihilated a convoy of ethnic Hazaras trekking across the country…including women and children.

How to make sense of all this? Basically, there are profound human-error issues inherent in telling folks in Nevada and Florida to fight a remote-control war in Southwest Asia. There’s also been an overreliance on drones as a panacea. And now, the military is acknowledging the difficulties, by way of tossing some money at new technology solutions.

How well’s that gonna work out? I talked about that and more yesterday on RT’s The Alyona Show. Check it out below.

(Full disclosure: RT is a sort of Russian Al Jazeera English. Its Western coverage, led by show anchors like Thom Hartmann, Adam Kokesh, and Alyona Minkovsky, is top-notch in my book. But it’s also got a reputation in some circles for being Kremlin-friendly. They’re probably more interested in my thoughts on US drones than on Uzbek politics.)

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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