Saturday, 17 October 2015

up periscope or dead men tell no tales

Regardless how the US refrains from using assassination (targeted killings) in the same way it refuses to “negotiate” with terrorists, the drone-wars have exhausted—unintentionally but with the lulling effect of new technologies and the easier path—whatever intelligence capital and standing that America had in the world. Not only does the incomplete picture obtained by intercepting communications (SIGINT) yield grave inaccuracies including a lot of collateral deaths (though they’re never referred to as by-standers), these tenuous links can no longer be explored or exploited once the person of interest has been obliterated.

Repeat missions based on the same models eventually dispose of all potential known-associates but do not solve the underlying problems nor create channels of access, like traditional espionage might have accomplished, and one’s understanding of connections and associations become diluted and unpredictable. Reliance on telephonic communication and the telemetry that’s a backformation that tends to put blinders on the drones’ human minders whose lightening bolts are already handicapped with tunnel-vision—the soda-straw effect, as only a very small part of the surroundings comes into focus, instead of some wide-angle cinematic panning that the audience expects to document the drama. Such a keyhole perspective, buffeted by the same dragnet snooping that the US has applied roundly to the entire world’s populace without discrimination, collapses leads, true or false, and has resulted in incalculable civilian loss and distrust. Despite that this way of warfighting is portrayed as safer and more surgical, it seems quite otherwise and has earned more than a modicum of scepticism, especially since the same intelligence-gathering, dossier-compiling unleashed on the general public is being used to vaporise terrorists and their associates, begging that invoking that justice from on-high is just a few clicks away.