EPISODE: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Regie: Vincent Verweij

Eindredactie: Fred Sengers

Voice-over: Sven Kockelmann

 

VO:

1:       00:02:01:05 00:02:07:19 06:14

They are Obama's favourite weapon:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones.

 

 

 

 

VO:

5:       00:02:22:21 00:02:27:11 04:15

What’s next for these robots of the battlefield?

 

TITLE:

6:       00:02:39:15 00:02:41:20 02:05

Attack of the Drones

 

VO:

7:       00:02:41:23 00:02:45:17 03:19

We're in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

 

8:       00:02:45:20 00:02:51:08 05:13

The US Air Force have invited the media

to Holloman Air Force Base.

 

9:       00:02:51:11 00:02:55:22 04:11

The main attraction is the Reaper,

an unmanned aerial vehicle.

 

10:      00:03:06:16 00:03:10:13 03:22

First we meet the squadron commander.

 

TITLE: COLONEL KEN JOHNSON – SQUADRON COMMANDER 03:44

 


 

TITLE: MAJOR TREY – DRONE PILOT 04:34

 

TITLE: LIEUTENANT LOGAN CLARK – ADVISORY OFFICER 05:00

 

VO:

11:      00:05:34:21 00:05:40:01 05:05

The Americans claim the drones are vital

in combating terrorism.

 

QUOTE:  KO COLIJN – CLINGENDAEL INSTITUTION:

12:      00:05:40:04 00:05:42:07 02:03

They're much cheaper and easier.

 

13:      00:05:42:10 00:05:45:04 02:19

You can do some serious damage

with them.

 

14:      00:05:45:07 00:05:49:00 03:18

They want to suppress Al Qaeda

that way.

 

VO:

15:      00:05:52:15 00:05:58:03 05:13

This is Anwar Al-Awlaki. The CIA say he was the leader

of Al Qaeda in Yemen.

 

16:      00:05:58:06 00:06:00:18 02:12

Yemen and America are not at war.

 

17:      00:06:00:21 00:06:06:13 05:17

But the US sent a drone after this man

and three fellow passengers anyway.

 

QUOTE: NATHAN FREED WESSLER – ACLU LAWYER

 

VO:
18:      00:06:20:09 00:06:23:21 03:12

ACLU, a civil rights organisation

in New York...

 

19:      00:06:23:24 00:06:30:03 06:04

...is currently suing the state for

summary executions with drones.

 

20:      00:07:12:23 00:07:17:02 04:04

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are controlled

from these containers in America.

 

21:      00:07:17:05 00:07:20:21 03:16

The pilots don't go

into the war zone at all.

 

22:      00:07:20:24 00:07:23:05 02:06

They drive to the base in the morning...

 

23:      00:07:23:08 00:07:26:11 03:03

...kill some Al Qaeda

or Taliban fighters...

 

24:      00:07:26:14 00:07:29:24 03:10

...and go home for dinner

at the end of the day.

 

QUOTE: SERGEANT JOSHUA – DRONE PILOT 07:33

 

VO:

25:      00:07:59:23 00:08:05:19 05:21

But are drones precision weapons,

or do they cause civilian casualties?

 

Obama soundbite

 

26:      00:08:46:00 00:08:51:08 05:08

Mistakes like these, when an American

chopper pilot shot Iraqi civilians...

 

27:      00:08:51:11 00:08:54:18 03:07

...should now occur less frequently.

 

28:      00:08:54:21 00:08:58:08 03:12

Drones are said to be more precise.

 

29:      00:09:00:14 00:09:03:15 03:01

But that turns out to be

not entirely true.

 

QUOTE: CHRIST KLEP – UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT THE NETHERLANDS:
30:      00:09:04:15 00:09:07:11 02:21

Shit happens,

that's what they say in war.

 

31:      00:09:07:14 00:09:09:20 02:06

Murphy's Law. Things go wrong.

 

32:      00:09:09:23 00:09:13:23 04:00

And that goes for UAVs

as well as  aircrafts.

 

33:      00:09:14:01 00:09:19:18 05:17

You think you've cornered

an Al Qaeda fighter on a farm.

 

34:      00:09:19:21 00:09:23:16 03:20

So you send a rocket out there

to kill him.

 

35:      00:09:23:19 00:09:31:03 07:09

When it's about to hit, whether from

a manned or a unmanned aircraft...

 

36:      00:09:31:06 00:09:34:23 03:17

...his wife comes out the door.

What do you do?

 

37:      00:09:35:01 00:09:38:08 03:07

The scenarios for such actions

are unchanged.

 

38:      00:09:38:11 00:09:42:17 04:06

A drone might be

a few inches more precise...

 

39:      00:09:42:20 00:09:44:23 02:03

...but the consequences are the same.

 

Interview with US soldier

 

QUOTE: CHRIST KLEP – UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT THE NETHERLANDS:
40:      00:10:31:07 00:10:33:15 02:08

It's just a big computer game.

 

41:      00:10:33:18 00:10:38:17 04:24

It's funny how these pilots,

although they are 'desk pilots'...

 

42:      00:10:38:20 00:10:43:03 04:08

...still wear flight suits,

to make them look like real pilots.

 

US interview

 

QUOTE:  KO COLIJN – CLINGENDAEL INSTITUTION:

43:      00:11:03:03 00:11:09:00 05:22

In a way the Americans already

reached a turning point in 2009, 2010.

 

44:      00:11:09:03 00:11:14:01 04:23

They trained more screen pilots...

 

45:      00:11:14:04 00:11:18:17 04:13

...than pilots physically

inside an aircraft.

 

46:      00:11:18:20 00:11:25:17 06:22

And they purchased more unmanned

planes than manned ones.

 

47:      00:11:25:20 00:11:29:24 04:04

Which is not surprising

since they're much cheaper.

 

48:      00:11:30:02 00:11:32:17 02:15

Reporter:

So it's not science fiction,

it's everyday reality?

 

49:      00:11:32:20 00:11:35:02 02:07

It's everyday reality.

 

INTERVIEW WITH DAVID ROHDE – JOURNALIST 00:13:19

 

QUOTE: CHRIST KLEP – UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT THE NETHERLANDS:
50:      00:14:50:16 00:14:54:21 04:05

A lot of people thought:

Obama is in power now.

 

51:      00:14:54:24 00:15:01:15 06:16

He's not such a cowboy as Bush was.

He probably won't do such things.

 

52:      00:15:01:18 00:15:05:24 04:06

But precisely because

unmanned systems are so clean...

 

53:      00:15:06:02 00:15:11:09 05:07

...and outside our scope, and able to

hunt down individual terrorists...

 

54:      00:15:11:12 00:15:17:19 06:07

...many Americans think: Go ahead,

do it, and don't tell us the dirty details.

 

55:      00:15:17:22 00:15:21:02 03:05

So even a liberal president does it.

 

56:      00:15:21:05 00:15:24:20 03:15

He probably thinks:

This is already a controversial war.

 

57:      00:15:24:23 00:15:28:22 03:24

I'd better not endanger

my pilots and my special forces.

 

58:      00:15:29:00 00:15:32:20 03:20

What else do I have?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Deploy them.

 

VO:

59:      00:15:36:12 00:15:39:16 03:04

Drones aren't only popular

with the army.

 

60:      00:15:39:19 00:15:44:21 05:02

Police and security services also

use them on their own territory...

 

61:      00:15:44:24 00:15:49:12 04:13

...to find criminals

and combat illegal immigration.

 

62:      00:15:49:15 00:15:55:19 06:04

A privacy organisation from San

Francisco is suing the state for this.

Interview with Jennifer Lynch

 

VO:

63:      00:16:36:14 00:16:39:18 03:04

Privacy is an issue

in Europe too.

 

64:      00:16:39:21 00:16:45:04 05:08

If our air forces buy drones,

the police can use them too.

 

65:      00:16:45:07 00:16:52:03 06:21

In the Netherlands last year a small drone was deployed just

to find a pyromaniac.

 

INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER LYNCH – ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION 00:16:57

 

INTERVIEW WITH DAVID ROHDE – JOURNALIST 00:17:26

 

VO:

157:     00:26:50:01 00:26:52:09 02:08

And these robots are advancing.

 

158:     00:26:52:12 00:26:57:15 05:03

The Air force, army and navy are

all using them more and more regularly.

 

159:     00:26:58:15 00:27:05:10 06:20

This is a small spying vehicle

with four cameras and night-glasses.

 

160:     00:27:08:20 00:27:15:20 07:00

And this is a sort of pack mule

carrying communication equipment.

 

Soundbite

 

161:     00:27:32:18 00:27:37:13 04:20

Chris Anderson is the editor-in-chief of

<Wired,> a big technology magazine.

 

162:     00:27:37:16 00:27:43:02 05:11

Every month it discusses the advance

of robots in the military.

 

Soundbite

 

163:     00:28:23:08 00:28:26:15 03:07

Anderson's company is called

DIY Drones.

 

164:     00:28:26:18 00:28:31:06 04:13

It produces small helicopters with

manual and automatic controls...

 

165:     00:28:31:09 00:28:34:00 02:16

...and a recording camera.

 

Soundbite

 

TITLE: ZURICH – SWITZERLAND 00:29:03

 

166:     00:29:04:05 00:29:07:10 03:05

The Swiss Federal Institute

of Technology in Zürich...

 

167:     00:29:07:13 00:29:09:21 02:08

...is working on the latest flying robots.

 

168:     00:29:09:24 00:29:14:19 04:20

They perform complex tasks without

any human intervention at all.

 

169:     00:29:14:22 00:29:18:15 03:18

These drones can build a tower

on their own.

 

TITLE: RAFFAELLO D’ANDREA – PROFESSOR ROBOTICA 00:29:22

 

VO:

170:     00:29:56:15 00:30:00:04 03:14

Drones also learn to dance

to music here...

 

171:     00:30:04:14 00:30:07:06 02:17

...play a game of tennis...

 

172:     00:30:12:22 00:30:16:13 03:16

...perform a task

working together as a trio...

 

173:     00:30:23:07 00:30:26:13 03:06

...and obey their master.

 

174:     00:31:37:15 00:31:41:18 04:03

The Japanese army

developed this flying ball.

 

175:     00:31:46:20 00:31:51:19 04:24

And the Americans are working

on drones that operate in swarms.

 

176:     00:32:40:04 00:32:42:21 02:17

In fact the arms race

has already started.

 

177:     00:32:42:24 00:32:46:00 03:01

China and Turkey have UAVs.

 

178:     00:32:46:03 00:32:51:21 05:18

And Iranian president Ahmadinejad

recently presented his first drone.

 

179:     00:32:56:14 00:33:03:04 06:15

It looks like a Thunderbirds rocket,

but it hits distant targets with deadly accuracy.

 

180:     00:33:04:16 00:33:09:22 05:06

Iran also laid hands on this

American espionage drone.

 

QUOTE:  KO COLIJN – CLINGENDAEL INSTITUTION:

181:     00:33:10:00 00:33:15:20 05:20

It crashed or was brought down.

Some even say it was hacked.

 

182:     00:33:15:23 00:33:19:17 03:19

That would explain its gentle landing

in Iran.

 

183:     00:33:19:20 00:33:24:08 04:13

The Iranians are very interested,

and perfectly capable...

 

184:     00:33:24:11 00:33:27:07 02:21

...of copying the technology.

TITLE: JENNIFER LYNCH – ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION 00:33:36

 

QUOTE:  KO COLIJN – CLINGENDAEL INSTITUTION:

185:     00:33:44:11 00:33:49:17 05:06

Is this the start of a new arms race?

- Yes. In this respect too.

 

VO:

186:     00:33:49:20 00:33:53:15 03:20

Future drones will be able to independently

search for targets...

 

187:     00:33:53:18 00:33:56:09 02:16

...and decide whether or not to attack.

 

188:     00:33:56:12 00:33:59:19 03:07

The software is being developed

in America right now.

 

TITLE: RAFFAELLO D’ANDREA – PROFESSOR ROBOTICA 00:34:00

 

TITLE: NATHAN FREED WESSLER – ACLU LAWYER 00:34:19

 

TITLE: CHRIS ANDERSON – CHIEF EDITOR ‘WIRED’ 00:34:41

 

QUOTE: CHRIST KLEP – UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT THE NETHERLANDS:

189:     00:34:56:11 00:34:59:01 02:15

Soldiers must always know exactly

what they're doing.

 

190:     00:34:59:04 00:35:04:14 05:10

If you give 90% of that responsibility to

an autonomous robot, that's a problem.

 

191:     00:35:04:17 00:35:08:06 03:14

You need new regulations

at the very least.

 

192:     00:35:08:09 00:35:13:12 05:03

I think ethically and operationally

it's a bad thing.

 

193:     00:35:13:15 00:35:20:12 06:22

It makes war so remote, it becomes

a game, an electronic spectacle.

 

194:     00:35:20:15 00:35:26:06 05:16

The one thing that should be able

to limit war...

 

195:     00:35:26:09 00:35:30:01 03:17

...is human logic and human morals.

 

196:     00:35:30:04 00:35:32:24 02:20

If you overrule that,

it will get easier...

 

197:     00:35:33:02 00:35:36:24 03:22

...to leave the killing to technology.

That's a bad idea.

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