US Veterans Urge Drone Pilots to Disobey Orders

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( — September 19, 2015) — As the US Air Force copes with retaining drone operators due to the stress of the job, a new ad posted in Air Force Times encourages drone pilots to disobey orders, Russia Today reported.

Posting an ad in Air Force Times, a US organization that fights against armed drones, KnowDrones, urging military drone operators to refuse orders to fly attack missions, stating it violates the international law.

Arguing that drone operators do not know what they’re getting into when they sign up for the job, KnowDrones coordinator Nick Mottern told RT that ad is urging drone pilots to “follow their conscience and do the right thing.”   

“Given the fact that the president and Congress won’t act to stop this, we’re appealing directly to the people who are being ordered to do the killing, and who have to bear the weight of this on their conscience to put a stop to it,” Mottern told RT.

Running an ad in magazine is expensive, so the move is supported by numerous US veteran’s organizations such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink and Veterans for Peace, and it was funded using the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.

“It costs over $5,000 to run this half-page ad for one week, and the vast amount of that money came from military and ex-military people.” Mottern said.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US drones are involved in taking 6,069 lives during missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Giving that it is just a smaller part of US military interventions across the world since this new technology became operative, that number is significantly higher.

“These attacks, which are also terrorizing thousands, are undermining principles of international law and human rights, such as those enumerated in EU,” the ad reads calling on the Principle IV of the International Human rights law written in 1948.

 “So, yes, you do have a choice – and liability under the law. Choose the moral one. Choose the legal one,” the ad continue.

In a 54-page field study from 2014, the Government Accountability Office found that the Air Force “faces challenges to recruit, develop, and retain pilots and build their morale.”

According to report, 57 percent of drone pilots said that they work more than 50 hours a week last year as the Air Force drone pilot recruitment fell short by 39 percent.