War! Now new and improved!

The United States has a huge military, gigantic really. In sheer numbers only China has more active military members, but we spend almost 4 times as much annually. So, we….win?
As of January 2014 the United States had an active military base of 1,369,532 personnel. Add in the 850,880 reserves spread across all seven reserve components and the US military, in it’s entirety, is around 2.2 million strong.
This is roughly the population of Houston, Texas, but many of these jobs may soon be obsolete.
Technology advancements obviously affect the way we do battle, they always have, but recently these advancements have allowed military operations to take place without military personnel actually present. I am of course talking about unmanned ariel vehicles, or drones.
These things are amazing, really. I hate them, but they are amazing.
The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is the current model of choice. This beast can be armed with 2 hellfire missiles and still travel 1000 miles. So, from the comfort of my couch in Los Angeles I could fly a Predator to Reno, destroy the Harrah’s that I lost $200 at 3 years ago, and have just enough fuel to bring my drone back home to papa.
There are of course some serious advantages to drones. First and foremost we are not risking the lives of the individuals that have bravely volunteered to protect our country. Drones also give us a lot of visual information, oftentimes in places that are otherwise inaccessible.
On that same note, without the risk of our own casualties I worry that these unmanned vehicles will push us into action faster and more frequently than necessary.
Since 2004 drones have been the weapon of choice in Northern Pakistan. These UAV’s, which are controlled by the CIA’s special activities division, have carried out numerous successful strikes during both the Bush and Obama administrations. However, these attacks have come at a serious cost with an estimated 850+ civilians being part of the “collateral damage”. Some of these attacks have been labeled as “war crimes”. As you can imagine drone strikes are not popular with the people of Pakistan, making the US unpopular, and creating a whole new set of the same problems down the road.
Another serious problem with drones? Everyone is going to have them soon.
Currently the only countries with missile carrying drones include: U.S., United Kingdom, Israel, China and possibly Iran, Pakistan and Russia. 23 other countries are in the process of developing or obtaining unmanned ariel vehicles.
The lack of interaction with these flying killing machines is what scares me.
If you look at comments on pretty much any article on the internet you will get some vile horrific statements that no sane person would ever state in public. With the anonymity of a screen name and never having to see someone face to face, things can get ugly very quickly. I worry that the same thing goes for unmanned military action. If you have a problem with someone, you can locate and destroy all while wearing your sweatpants in a comfortably safe room far away.
Of course I want our troops out of harms way, but when there is no direct connection between your actions and the repercussion of your actions, fire away, it’s a video game.