For this week’s Drone News, Abigail Fielding-Smith went to Copenhagen to interview the maker of a new documentary on drone warfare, Tonje Hessen Schei.
The documentary, Drone, draws on interviews from Washington DC to Waziristan. The director explains that she is alarmed at the direction the technology is going in.
“This is just the beginning of this new kind of warfare,” she told Drone News. “What is coming we can only guess.”
Fielding-Smith also met a former US Airforce drone sensor operator who appears in the film, Brandon Bryant. Sensor operators work alongside pilots ensuring the drone’s cameras and, when necessary, targeting lasers, are focused. Bryant talked about the stress of watching and helping to end peoples’ lives from afar.
“My imagination would give these people personalities, I’d give them personalities, I’d give them lives, wondering what they were talking about, what they were thinking about, give them real personal depth. It might have been false personal depth but it made them more human to me,” he said. “It didn’t coincide with my military training too well.”