The Real Peril of the Drone Debate

Drones! What are they good for? If you’re about to yell “absolutely nothing!”,  go ahead and check out this story first.

Still not sure how to feel about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)? That may be because the debate about drones is oversimplified. In most circles, drone conversation centers around a one question: are they good or evil? That treatment prevents nuance from rising to the surface.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Future Tense event on drones, Daniel Rothenberg explains what we’re really talking about when we attach black-and-white moral or policy issues to drones.

“The truth is that those who suggest that public debate needs to focus clearly on what drones really are and really do, are missing the point. Facts alone will not resolve the heated discussions. Rather the idea of drones and the resulting questions, complex and varied as they are, are enmeshed in powerful narratives of fear and mistrust as drones have become a central element of the contemporary American political imagination. The drone debate is not only about targeted killings abroad or potential invasions of privacy at home; it is about how this emerging technology has come to symbolize the disorder, threat, uncertainty, and fear of our rapidly changing world.”

Read more from Rothenberg here, and RSVP for tomorrow’s event.