Illustration article drones

2017 — Comment pensent les drones

Illustration article drones

Comment pensent les drones. La détection et l’identification de cibles invisibles

Published in L’Homme 222 (2017), pp. 91–118

DOI: 10.4000/lhomme.30152

Summary: The ethical debates surrounding the use of combat drones by the United States for military operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen have tended to focus on the particular case of so‐called « personality strikes », whose declared purpose is to remotely assassinate high‐level representatives of « terrorist » organisations. Rather than previously identified people, however, the majority of drone strikes carried out nowadays by American drones actually target anonymous individuals, who come to be « identified » as « insurgents » on the basis of their behaviour as perceived from above. Within the context of this kind of attacks, referred to as « signature strikes », targets appear to drone operators through signs which require a collective interpretative process following their detection. Drawing on available data on this topic, and mostly on the transcript of an attack carried out in Afghanistan by the US Army in February 2010, this paper tries to chart how exactly invisible targets come to be identified as such by American combat drones.

Comment pensent les drones