Monday, June 4, 2012

Peter MacKay defends drone attacks

Addressing a security conference in Singapore Peter MacKay Canada's defense minister took the opportunity to defend drone attacks spouting the same sort of rhetoric in defense of the attacks that U.S. spokespeople use. Of course Canada has not mounted any drone attacks. I am not sure we even have any armed drones to carry out such attacks.

However, MacKay is no doubt trying to winning brownie points with the U.S. or perhaps the U.S. suggested it might be a good idea for him to defend the drones rather than the U.S. carrying that burden all the time.

As with U.S. defenders MacKay stressed how accurate the drones were in hitting their targets. Of course accuracy is no virtue if the intelligence about the target is incorrect as sometimes happens. MacKay said “These eyes-on systems that can literally read a license plate from outer space have increased our ability to decrease civilian casualties.”“We want to reduce if not eliminate collateral damage," Well that's comforting. I did not really think that the intention was to increase collateral damage. However it occurs anyway.

There is no mention in the article that MacKay considered the issue of mounting attacks in Pakistan even though there have been three motions in the Pakistani parliament that they cease. MacKay did his job, acting as an apologist for U.S. drone attacks.

MacKay also warned about cyber attacks and urged that intelligence and technology be used to battle cyber attacks that could shut down crucial infrastructures including communications and transport. Of course he was not critical of the U.S. and Israeli cyber attacks on Iranian centrifuges I expect. He said:“The consequences of cyber attacks haven’t really washed over us as to just how devastating they could be,” “It’s a monster in our midst.” For more see this article.

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