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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pentagon creates ‘drone warrior’ medal

Associated Press:

They fight the war from computer consoles and video screens.

But the troops that launch the drone strikes and direct the cyberattacks that can kill or disable an enemy may never set foot in the combat zone. Now, defense officials say, their battlefield contributions may be recognized.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce Wednesday that for the first time the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar.

The Associated Press has learned that the new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for “extraordinary achievement” related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

What I’m taking from this is that drones are now the new normal. Drone warfare is not some “we’ll do it just this once, because 9/11” sort of thing, It’s what we do. Drone strikes are a terrible strategy on so many levels and a testament to the lazy inefficiency of modern warfare. We could fight in ways that would minimize loss of life — especially innocent, civilian life — but this is so much easier and cheaper, so fuck it.

Push a button, win a medal.

[image source]

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