Technology gives us the opportunity to wage war from afar at a greatly reduced risk to our armed forces. But is removing the horror of war a slippery slope to reducing the threshold for conflict?
Going to war usually boosts a politician’s approval ratings and can be a useful distraction from domestic problems. Yet public opinion typically turns sour when a steady stream of soldiers start returning in body bags and candid reportage from the war zone reveals unpleasant truths. The public’s distaste at seeing ‘our boys and girls’ returning in coffins or missing limbs somewhat hampers the abilities of warmongers to fulfil their wish-list. In the 1860s Confederate General Robert E Lee remarked: “It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it”.
21st century technology is giving wealthier countries the opportunity to wage war from afar, in an asymmetrical manner, where…
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