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‘Attack of the drones’—Steve Graham quoted in the Guardian

Tamar Shlaim24 January 2011

Steve Graham, author of Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism, is quoted in a piece for the Guardian on new military technology and the trend towards remote warfare: 

The Oxford-based Fellowship of Reconciliation is "seriously concerned" the UK might be sanctioning a culture of "convenient killing ... Our core concern is with 'PlayStation warfare', where the geographical and psychological distance between operator and target lowers the threshold for launching an attack."

Thirtle dismisses the accusation. "The people doing this are adults," he said. "They understand flying and the effects they are having on the ground. They are not remote. One pilot told me he had never felt more connected to the ground than in flying a Reaper."

But Steve Graham, professor of cities and society at Newcastle University, who studies urban battle grounds, warns that the US military's "technophilia" and "fantasies of omnipotence" blur the distinction between surveillance and killing. As he puts it in his book Cities Under Siege: "The possibility of deploying swarms of armed and unarmed robots to loiter persistently across regions of the world deemed trouble spots is clearly a good fit with the Pentagon's latest thinking surrounding the long war."

Visit the Guardian to read the article in full.

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