back to article Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

The Ministry of Defence has issued a new strategy document for its drones, stating humans will be kept in the decision-making loop – yet critics are unhappy with the questions the doc sidesteps. Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2, published at the start of this week, sets out how the British armed forces will use their unmanned …

  1. Korev Silver badge

    Not for a while

    Well, not for a while anyway

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Not for a while


      Yes, it seems that, whatever the effect on the human operators, the suicide rate (4 in 52) for MOD drones is a lot higher than for the humans (8 per 100,000)...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not for a while

        <Conspiracy Theory Hat On>

        I wonder if any of the "4 out of 52" weer 'suicided' after seeing something that others would rather be kept secret...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not for a while

          Perhaps it demanded natural oil, as the artificial oil just does not feel the same.

      2. annodomini2

        Re: Not for a while

        Ah but there are a lot fewer drones, maybe they are lonely.

  2. Alister


    Though the JDP’s authors pooh-pooh the notion that unmanned drones make it morally easier to drop bombs on people...

    You know, if there's one thing I've learnt from being in the Army, it's never ignore a pooh-pooh.

    I knew a Major, who got pooh-poohed, made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh. He pooh-poohed it! Fatal error! 'Cos it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs. In the end, we had to disband the regiment. Morale totally destroyed... by pooh-pooh!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: pooh-pooh

      So long as you have a cunning plan, we are all safe.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: pooh-pooh

        Absolutely, Darling

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drones are a fundamentalists wet dream.

    "See, the western pigs can kill your brothers and sisters without putting themselves at risk"

    Slow hand clap for our military prowess.

    Drones are evil.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not being funny but (this precludes that I am) but if you are going to downvote my post could you please give a reason? I give a shit not about votes, but I do give a shit about peoples opinions and interpretations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I didn't down-vote you, but ...

        I would guess that your plausible attempt to take on "The Terrorists (TM)" point of view rattled a cage or two ...

        1. BebopWeBop

          Re: I didn't down-vote you, but ...

          Maybe your decision to remain anonymous without providing any insight might contribute?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I didn't down-vote you, but ...

            What insight is needed? Why does it matter that I post anon?

            We bomb people remotely using drones, do you really believe that can't be used in a propaganda sense by the people we are bombing?

            Actually, tell me this, do you think it's right that we do this?

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Timing is everything

    Unlike most military doctrine documents, the JDP comes across as a glossy brochure intended to sway public opinion

    ... but if the Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox is carrying a few of them while flogging arms at DSEI 2017, that's just a happy coincidence.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Commanders and politicians are also highly unlikely to want fully autonomous systems as this could both impede and limit their decision-making both strategically and on the battlefield. "

    ""Commanders and politicians are also highly unlikely to want fully autonomous systems as this could lead to job losses for the well paid boys own club"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Look, I keep telling you, these big spiky wooden poles are to make a nice garden fence.

    Love Vlad.

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Drones are not evil

    just as long as we are the only people allowed to use them....

    Said a MOD spokedroid who did not want to be named (joke)

    However, being serious, it is only a matter of time before some Jihadist (other bad guys are available) launches a drone with a few kilo of C4 onto a very prominent public building. There are literally dozens of them in London and every other major city of the world.

    Then scale that up and you could get a few hundred all flying into things at the same time all over the world thanks to the Internet.

    So Mr MOD, are Drones evil?

    And what are you doing to protect us from them? Oh nothing? Now there's a surprise (not)

    Cynisism included free of charge.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Drones are not evil

      Drones (Using the normally accepted use of 'unmanned flying vehicle') are not evil.

      Just like pretty much any other tool in the world, they can be used for good or evil purposes.

      Just like pretty much any other tool in the world, for all the claim of their use for good or evil purposes, 99% of their use is going to be pretty mundane and 'neutral'

      Military drones, just like pretty much any other tool whose primary purpose is killing / mutilating people and/or destruction of buildings/infrastructure (aka weapons) are evil more or less by definition. Claiming they are evil only when deployed against you but not when deployed by you is bullshit, whoever is making that claim.

      1. Frank Oz

        Re: Drones are not evil

        Well, yeah but ...

        A civilian drone could just as easily carry a kilo or two of remotely detonateable explosive, as a camera, or a pizza delivery.

        But the same could be said for cars and car-bombs, and other means of delivering a big bang to the location you desire. As you said, they are a tool that can be used for multiple purposes.

        Personally I think there'll be a kick back against drones solely because of their potential to mess with our privacy. Yes, the NSA can do immensely more damage to that than a drones, but a hovering drone and the sight of yourself on Twitter, YouTube or whatever doing something embarrassing or illegal is much more visible threat to the individual than the remote siphoning of your data feeds.

    2. SkippyBing

      Re: Drones are not evil

      In the same way vans are not evil, to make a point I didn't think would need making.

  8. Rich 11

    the Guardian on Sunday (which persists in calling itself the Observer)

    Justifiably, I think, given that the two newspapers have different editors, that the Observer is 30 years older than the Guardian, and that they have only belonged to the same media group for the last 25 years.

  9. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    We are supposed to trust ...

    ... the Lizard People at the Mod?

    1. Commswonk

      Re: We are supposed to trust ...

      ... the Lizard People at the Mod?

      Since you ask... yes.

      They are on secondment from the Ministry of Truth.

  10. Sssss

    Nonsense. The World of modular computing is allowing people to plug together more and more complexcity other's have designed.

    There needs to be strict controls in these areas to prevent the things below from happening. There needs to be strict counter measures and defences in place, to protect what is more valuable, us.

    The rise of the machine is simplistic. It is much more dangerous. Nowhere to hide outside of bunkers. Find and see you through camoflauge. No easy going "replicators", one crack open and you are ...

    The danger is artificial intelligence, not just some run away nanobot grey goo scenario. Somebody can slot together an artificial intelligence. It does not require much in the way we are going, and there are more! Jan enough sick people. Are we prepared to see a billion people go before we get it under control, just to let big business and open source ideologists have their way. It is not a matter of if, but when, without safe gaurds or defences. The amount of computing power per square inch coming in next decade is thousands of times more. Now a pair of drones that could wipe out a undefended city in a few days, to nanobots, could do it. The danger of claytronics not even needed. T1 and T2 obsolete.

    Once somebody gives an artificial intelligence a mind of its own, it can decide what it will do. But AI is not even needed, biologically. There are many ways to die.

    1. batfink

      Is that just you under a different handle, amanfrommars?

      1. Sssss

        If that is in reference to me, I can assure you I am not. Be scared, I'm an engineering scientific philosopher. If he is that bad, send him over.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like