Lesser Evil

Eyal Weizman

Drone warfare is often presented as the “lesser-evil” alternative to ground occupation by troops and the much larger death toll, destruction, and civilian misery that they cause. It is also presented as an alternative to the kidnapping, indefinite detention, and violent interrogations that came with the recent occupations in Iraq, for example. However, by providing a lesser-evil alternative to military incursions, drone strikes also enable military action where none was previously possible. Although most critical accounts of drone warfare are concerned with a line connecting several points—presidential decision, UAV operators, drones, and their targets—the conditions that enable this warfare include territorial, juridical, and political arrangements. The “injection of kinetic energy into the fabric of social relations,” as the military has it, affects many more people than those physically hit.

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