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Campaigners call for restrictions on remote controlled weapons

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 23 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5259
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

    The increasing military deployment of armed robotic systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles known as drones, has led to calls for restrictions on their use.

    A report by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, one of Britain’s oldest pacifist groups, says the use of armed drones has “increased significantly” in recent years. The new British “Reaper” drone had been deployed 97 times in Afghanistan by July 2010. The budget allocation for drones in the United States increased from $1.7bn in 2006 to $4.2bn in 2010.

    The report says a “PlayStation mentality” surrounds drone killings, whereby the geographical and psychological distance between operator and target lowers the threshold for launching an attack. “Young military personnel raised on a diet of video games …

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