Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 82

reduces collateral damage. Yet drones often are perceived as particularly problematic. As suggested in this article, there is a narrative about the drone as a symbol of weakness. It is not that there is a concerted and uniform discourse advancing this proposition, but rather that disparate voices touch upon common themes in their critique of drones. The allegation seems to be that drone operators are not really warriors, and that drones are not a courageous form of battle. The United States emerges as a representation of modernity, ruthless and simultaneously weak. The perception of the drone embodies this caricature. Dr. Cora Sol Goldstein is a professor of Political Science at California State University, Long Beach. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2002. Her book Capturing the German Eye: American Visual Propaganda in Occupied Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009) focuses on the U.S. experience in postwar Germany. She has published in Diplomatic History, German Politics and Society, Intelligence and National Security, Parameters, Internationale Politik, and Military Review. Notes 1. Pew Research Center, “Global Opposition to U.S. Surveillance and Drones, but Limited Harm to America’s Image,” Pew Research Center Global Attitudes & Trends website, 14 July 2014, accessed 1 September 2015, 2. Akbar Ahmed, The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam, (Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press, 2013), 1. 3. Ibid., 2. 4. Ibid., 326. 5. Mobashar Jawed Akbar, quoted in P.W. Singer, Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (New York: Penguin Press, 2009), 312. 6. David Kilcullen, quoted in Doyle McManus, “U.S. Drone Attacks in Pakistan ‘Backfiring,’ Congress Told,” Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2009. 7. George Monbiot, “With Its Deadly Drones the U.S. Is Fighting a Coward’s War,” The Guardian, 30 January 2012. 8. Andrew Exum, quoted in Jane Mayer, “The Predator War: What are the risks of the C.I.A.’s covert drone program?” New Yorker, 26 October 2009. 9. Matt Walje, “Drone Warfare and Jus ad Bellum: Mala Prohibita under Right Intention,” The Polemistés Ethos weblog, accessed 1 September 2015, hello-world/. 10. Glenn Greenwald, “Bravery and Drone Pilots: The Pentagon Considers Awarding War Medals to Those who Operate America’s Death-delivering Video Games,” Salon website, 10 July 2012, accessed 30 July 2015, 11. Ed Kinane, “Drones and Dishonor in Central New York,” Dissident Voice website, 25 September 2009, accessed 30 July 2015, ew-york/. 12. Kenneth Tanner, “Rand Paul, Drones, and Honor,” Sojourners website, 8 March 2013, accessed 1 September 2015, blogs/2013/03/08/rand-paul-drones-and-honor. 13. Dirk Kurbjuweit, “Fear the Reaper: ‘Humane’ Drones Are the Most Brutal Weapons of All,” Der Spiegel, 9 August 2012. 14. The term “cubicle warrior” was used by P.W. Singer in Wired for 76 War (New York: Penguin, 2009), and developed by other authors. 15. Historically, war has served as a framework to shape the social construction of masculinity. See Barbara Ehrenreich, Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (New York: Holt), 1998. For a study of drones and the issue of gender, see Mary Manjikian, “Becoming Unmanned: The Gendering of Lethal Autonomous Warfare,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, 16(1) (2014): 48–65. 16. Walje, “Drone Warfare and Jus ad Bellum.” 17. Philip Alston, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Addendum: Study on Targeted Killings, U.N. Human Rights Council, 28 May 2010, 25. 18. “Manchin, Rockefeller Bipartisan Group Protect Rank of Purple Heart, Bronze Star,” Joe Manchin website, 8 March 2013, accessed 29 July 2015, 19. The debate about the award was extensively covered in the media. See, for instance, Ernesto Londono, “Pentagon Cancels Divisive Distinguished Warfare Medal for Cyber Ops, Drone Strikes,” Washington Post, 15 April 2013. 20. Andrew Niccol, Good Kill (Voltage Pictures, Dune Films, and Sobini Films, 2015). 21. Clint Eastwood, American Sniper (Village Roadshow Pictures, Mad Chance Productions, 22nd & Indiana Pictures, and Malpaso Productions, 2014). 22. Anthony Lane, “Distant Emotions,” New Yorker, 18 May 2015. 23. Scott Shane, “Drone Strikes Reveal Uncomfortable Truth,” New York Times (23 April 2015). 24. Ethan Hawke, quoted in Stephanie Merrie, “Ethan Hawke on ‘Good Kill’ and the Difficulty of Getting Good Dramas Made,” Washington Post (21 May 2015). 25. Cora Sol Goldstein, “Good Kill? U.S. Soldiers and the Killing of Civilians in American Film,” in Disappearing War, Christina Hellmich and Lisa Purse, eds., (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2015). 26. All dialogue quoted is from Good Kill. 27. Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun (Simpson/Bruckheimer, 1986). November-December 2015  MILITARY REVIEW