Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If We're Leaving in 2011, Why Are We Buying Armed Drones?

The Canadian Forces make do and they deliver a lot for the limited amount they're given. Even within current defence budgets they have to shop prudently. The military doesn't have money to buy expensive toys they're not planning on using. So why are the Canadian Forces buying armed aerial drones that won't even be delivered until 2015? Who do they figure they'll need those drones to kill over the next decade or two?

Obama is a keen user of aerial drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan but the results have been mixed at best. There's been a lot of anger generated in Islamabad and Kabul over the drone attacks, a lot of "blowback."

Armed unmanned drones will certainly give the Canadian Forces greater capabilities but has Parliament decided that's either necessary or desirable. If there's anything our angry world isn't short of right now it would be weaponry and enough soldiers to fire them. Just what role in the ranks of global warfighting are we carving out for ourselves and are these calls being made by our elected representatives or our unelected military leadership?

How is adding this lethal capability consistent with Canada's leadership role in rejecting land mines and cluster weapons? I don't see it but then again I haven't heard the pros and cons either.


penlan said...

Iggy now calling for troops to stay in Afghanistan in non-combat role (snort!). There's part of the answer. As though we didn't see this coming.

The Mound of Sound said...

I hear you, P. I'm still concerned about the technology question. The weaponry we acquire in effect defines the sort of future military role we foresee.

Armed UAVs may be an integral component of future warfighting. The success of America's Predator has already got other nations, including Russia and China, going for the same toys. Conventional weapons proliferate just as nuclear weapons do. We can no longer ignore the ripple effects of embracing enhanced lethality.

Okie said...

Iggs is the B Team. Just in case something unexpected happens.