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State of the Union address was shaped by hidden force: drones

Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

This undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-9 Reaper, armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, piloted by Col. Lex Turner during a combat mission over southern Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt, AP

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According to William Saletan in an article for Slate, “Obamas war-free State of the Union address was shaped by a hidden force: drones.” Saletan claims that although President Obama never used the word “drones” in his address, the fact that the Obama administration embraces drone warfare took the focus off military concerns and allowed the president to focus on different domestic challenges instead.

President Obama never used the worddronesin hisState of the Union address. But drones were all over it. Theyre the unspoken force that is shaping his agenda.

A minute into the speech, Obama reported, After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. Thats all the president had to say about foreign affairs for the next 38 minutes. And it wasnt even about going somewhere. It was about returning.

Whos coming home? Our people. Whos taking their place? Machines. By outsourcing our global police work to remotely piloted aircraft, Obama was able to spend almost his entire speech talking about domestic challenges instead.

Read more about drone warfare on Slate.

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