Via Mediaite, it’s old, old, old news that the U.S. and Israeli militaries are working on micro drones and, potentially, nano drones. Even the existence of the “micro-aviary” at Wright-Patterson is no secret. But this subject has new relevance now that the White House’s “white paper” on targeting U.S. citizens like Awlaki has leaked so you’ll want to watch below and read National Geographic’s nifty new piece out today about the growing ubiquity of UAVs. Drone warfare and cyberwarfare are the bleeding edge of defense but they’re running in opposite directions in terms of scale. Hacking used to be about breaking into individual computers; now it’s about stealing secrets across industries and taking down national infrastructure. Drones currently specialize in bird’s-eye views of terrain and sizable explosions to destroy a target; in the future they’ll likely focus on smaller-scale surveillance and individual assassination. How freaky could that get? Read this. If these things work as advertised, the age of “collateral damage” will be over. As will the age of accountability, if it isn’t already.
Since we’re on the subject, Salon’s reporting today that a new poll shows liberal support for drones increases significantly when it’s Obama, as opposed to some other president, who’s ordering the strikes. If, as some on the left rosily predict, we’re staring at Democratic control of the White House for the foreseeable future, and if the GOP position on this technology continues to be dominated by hawks rather than by more libertarian types, then the years ahead should be pretty darned drone-y.