‘Cowards fighting cowards behind computer screens’ – ex-drone operator Brandon Bryant on US drone strikes.

Combat drones are becoming commonplace in modern warfare, with the US military, in particular, expanding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in its operations. A former US Air Force drone operator and whistleblower Brandon Bryant talks about his experience in the military and how drones are changing the character of war.

“It’s not unheard of that we are going to have cowards fighting cowards behind computer screens,” Bryant says. “There’s a price to pay with going to war, and if we take the human component out of it, then there’s no actual price.” There should be human interaction, codes of conduct and honour, “because that’s actually how battles are prevented,” Bryant says. 

US drone strikes in Somalia, Yemen or Afghanistan “definitely cannot change the course of anything,” Bryant says, adding that drone war has produced “more terrorists than it has killed.” 

“I’ve killed thirteen people with missile strikes, and there are 1,626 unnamed enemies that we killed in all the missions that I completed and I know that.” It’s “a very disturbing feeling” to kill victims “with the finger of God from half-a-world away,” Bryant confesses.
“Do we really want faultless unemotional things that are able to just end a human being’s life indiscriminately?” Bryant says. 

Check out the full interview with Brandon Bryant on SophieCo.