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Drones Monday July 15, 2013


Just north of Toronto, Canada, is a stretch of the freeway that has been designated "the Highway of Heroes". This length of highway is part of the route traveled by convoys carrying fallen Canadian soldiers returned from overseas.

These heroes are all dead, having died in Afghanistan or Iraq or some peacekeeping initiative. It's great to be a hero. But a dead hero? Not so great. Especially for the families of those heroes. Grieving spouses, children who will never know their father or their mother, parents who will never see their child again.

That's why I support the use of drones. If we have to send our citizens to war, or war-torn places, I don't want to see any more heroes on my highway. The technology exists. We can use drones to gather intelligence. We can use guided missiles to destroy enemy targets from afar. I would rather lose a dozen drones or missiles than a single soldier.

Some say that it's somehow wrong for an officer comfortably ensconced in a building in North America to direct a drone attack over an Afghani village. I say that it's less wrong than someone in North America getting a knock at the door in the middle of the night, telling them that their loved one died in an Afghani village.

Some others take issue with the fact that drones sometimes also take out non-combatants. I say that air strikes or on the ground firefights have always been at risk of killing non-combatants. Casualties of war have occurred throughout history, regardless of the weapons in use.

To me, remote military technology like drones, is comparable to modern car design featuring crumple zones and the like. In a crash, would I rather that my car be a total write-off but I survive, or would I rather the car make it but I'm killed? It's not a difficult decision, is it? The technology exists to save human lives, and I say that we should use it as much as possible.

If there must be war, then give me drones, missiles, and robots to fight them, rather than another generation of young people who come back physically and mentally scarred. Or who only come back for a last trip down the Highway of Heroes.