New drone technology further removes us from war

Yesterday's Sunday Review in The New York Times featured an article about the moral use of drones by United States.

The author, Peter Singer, asks if drones are undermining democracy.

For a while now, some ethicists have wrung their hands over the "push-button war" where pilots drop bombs and soldiers shoot off missiles without ever seeing their targets. But now drones can identify footprints, read license plates and destroy houses and automobiles without troops ever setting boots on the ground.

Thus, President Barack Obama did not seek a declaration of war in Libya, and Congress didn't seem to expect one.

Our soldiers' lives are not at risk, so the public has little reason to pay attention.

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Singer says, "And now we have a technology that removes the last political barriers to war."

Restraint is not an easy virtue, and it doesn't fit within our practice of foreign policy. If we have a weapon, we use it. Current political campaigners are calling for even less restraint.

But our founders built deliberation on war into the Constitution, giving roles to Congress and the Executive Branch. It is up to us, the people, to demand that deliberation.

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