"Surgical" Airstrikes


#1

The Obama Administration deliberately uses the word “surgical” to describe its drone strikes. Official White House spokesman Jay Carney marshaled the medical metaphor here, saying that “a hallmark of our counterterrorism efforts has been our ability to be exceptionally precise, exceptionally surgical and exceptionally targeted.” White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan attributed “surgical precision” and “laser-like focus” to the drone program. He also spoke of “delivering targeted, surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us.” And a “senior administration official” told The Washington Post that “there is still a very firm emphasis on being surgical and targeting only those who have a direct interest in attacking the United States.”

They’ve successfully transplanted the term into public discourse about drones.

I’ve been told American drone strikes are “surgical” while attending Aspen Ideas Festival panels, interviewing delegates at the Democratic National Convention, and perusing reader emails after every time I write about the innocents killed and maimed in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere.

It is a triumph of propaganda.

Calling U.S. Drone Strikes ‘Surgical’ Is Orwellian Propaganda - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic


#2

“I’ve been told American drone strikes are “surgical” while attending Aspen Ideas Festival panels, interviewing delegates at the Democratic National Convention”

YEP, good place to get info…

Been reading your posts, you got a good routine that will play well down here in some bars in S Texas, always lookin for a really funny stand up comic.

We got chit that can shoot missiles not just thru the window of some bad guys car, but put it in his ear…hell he won’t hear for a week after that.

  • “Then there is the fact that the movement shown on a drone pilot’s video screen has over the years been seconds behind what the drone sees – a delay caused by the time it takes to bounce a signal off a satellite in space. This problem, called ‘latency,’ has long bedeviled drone pilots, making it difficult to hit a moving target.”*

Lets see we are pinging an object at about 23,000 miles and back, signals at 186,283 mph, takes ohhh about .25 of a sec rd trip, then the distance to target, hum, wonder if I can hit that. Lets see, laser the target, laser it again, get its rate of speed input the .25…YOU THINK?

In Vietnam I called in Arty, so I got an Artillery battery several miles away from me and further from the bad guys, it goes something like this:

Redleg 36: this Inlaid Speeder 36 over

Redleg over

Redleg 36: fire mission, platoon sized element setting up mortars on berm in rice paddy, coord xyz over need spotter round, HE 1 rd

Speeder 36: roger, confirm, shot out, over

Redleg 36: roger confirm shot out

Redleg 36: UP 1350, RIGHT 750 battery of 6 HE fire for effect

Redleg 36: Thanks guys, will send patrol to establish KIA count, have a great night, out here.*

I can take US Artry the most accurate in the world and from a remote location with nothing but a map and a pair of binos, 1 spotter rd and I drop mean in their pockets and I do it all in a matter of minutes in the pouring rain, wind blowing, temp diffs and ALL that has to be calculated and is done so in a min or two. What we did then, they do today with computers, lasers and in split seconds.

Target acquisition is not the problem, but rather its knowing exactly what the target is. Do civilians get waxed in the process? Sure they do, that is why they call it war, its hell, but no one on the face of this planet is more concerned than we are about doing unneeded damage to person, place or thing. Wanna whine about unneeded damage, start somewhere else, like with the bad guys, they don’t play by rules, we do!

Inlaid Speeder 36 was my call sign in Vietnam


#3

I think the issue is with referring to any sort of bomb as “surgical”. When I think of surgical, I agree with the Atlantic: I think of methods that nearly always get the target and only the target. A well-placed sniper shot is surgical. A drone may be able to shoot missiles extremely accurately, but it’s still a missile. And it doesn’t help when combatants are defined as any young male killed in the strike.


#4

I am telling you it is ACCURATE! We were accurate in '67 with slide rules and protractors, pencils and paper, pair of binos that has been bouncing on your chest in rain and mud. I can write my girl friends name on the side of a hill in Willy Pete, in fact that is a training exercise when I taught.

I retied in '94 and we had stuff then that would allow me to read your name tag from a distance further than your eyeball can see the man, I can tell what brand of cigs you are smoking, I can only imagine what they can do today.

SO what is a combatant???

How about a 5 yr old child


#5

Interesting, Trekky you might get into another conversation you ain’t winnin’ this one. I was amazed with the strikes shown on Tv in the Gulf War when a missile was put right into a window of the INTENDED target.


#6

And then the missile blows up the entire house and possible houses surrounding it. It doesn’t matter if it makes it through a window if it blows up like a bomb when it gets there. There’s nothing surgical about bombs, period.


#7

Guess living next door to a terrorist is not a good choice.


#8

It was a stand alone building and a marked target. Trekky you are agitating.


#9

How so? Yes the bombs are accurate. No one denies that. But the Obama administration refers to them as surgical, implying that as well as being accurate they are extremely precise, which they are not when they are taking out multiple buildings or civilians as well as your target. There’s nothing surgical about a missile attack, even if it flies through the window. A surgical take out would be if the drone flew through the window, shot the target, and left. But that’s not happening. Civilians are killed every week in drone strikes.


#10

and Obama is an idiot does that make him a surgeon?


#11

What does this even mean?


#12

Trekky, Trekky, Trekky; Obama knows next to nothing about surgical strikes but he uses the phrase with great aplomb. He is an Idiot. Therefore he thinks he is a surgeon.
[man, I sweated to work that one in]


#13

Oh gotcha. Yeah, but even an idiot should know surgical is a word of propaganda to use when referring to bombs.


#14

“Surgical” to the magnitude you’re talking about, no. But the warhead on a Hellfire missile is a small one. The entire missile is only about a hundred pounds, and most of that weight is in airframe, guidance, and propulsion (especially the propellent, which burns out quickly and (if like most missiles), before it reaches the target).


#15

Paveway II’s were capable of hitting the driver in a moving vehicle. In the ear. This was from the 80’s.
Not a missile, but a laser guided bomb. They glide to the target point, or more of a precision controlled fall.
I’d say we’re quite capable of precision strikes.


#16

It is surgical, if you consider the alternative. Carpet Bombing.


#17

[quote=“Tiny1, post:16, topic:36376”]
It is surgical, if you consider the alternative. Carpet Bombing.
[/quote]I think we should try surgical carpet bombing. :howler:


#18

[quote=“JStang, post:17, topic:36376”]
I think we should try surgical carpet bombing. :howler:
[/quote]I think it is highly effective. As long as we “play fair”, they have no reason for “dread”. If they “know” that we’ll not target any indigenous personnel, they can hide behind them, like cowards do.
Bomb 'em back to the stone age, and come home. Wait until the need arises again, and carpet bomb 'em, again, then come home. Sooner or later, they’ll get the message.


#19

Not quite '80s. I’ve got that same photo in a book that was copyrighted in '79 (as I understand it, books are usually put together a year before the copyright date).

On edit: I just looked up the entry in the book, and it says the Paveway program started in '66, and apparently the Paveway bomb in the photo was available by '71.


#20

[quote=“Fantasy_Chaser, post:19, topic:36376”]
Not quite '80s. I’ve got that same photo in a book that was copyrighted in '79 (as I understand it, books are usually put together a year before the copyright date).

On edit: I just looked up the entry in the book, and it says the Paveway program started in '66, and apparently the Paveway bomb in the photo was available by '71.
[/quote]Even better, thanks. I had the same photo in an air war book from the 80’s, a quick google on Paveway II’s found it. I said 80’s to be safe, back when I got the book. My point was we’ve been capable of extreme precision with airstrikes for quite some time. Showing that from the 70’s (or late 60’s) is even better.