August 01, 2015

America, will drones and robot soldiers send your drill sergeants home?

Like drones, robots also present challenges to the national psyche of their users (“Robot soldiers”, July 18/19) – the possibility of a diminishing human fighting spirit hiding behind drones and robots.

I think it is hard to visualize 
the same type of national “good feeling”, with homecoming parades and memorials, when scientists and mechanical engineers have done the real fighting. And what will be more important for the advancement of a military career in the future: knowledge about robots or knowledge about your men?

Will the traditional drill sergeant just become a figure featured in History channel documentaries?

What keeps me coming back
 to these issues is that 70 years 
ago my father was freed from a concentration camp in Germany by courageous American boots on the ground... not by drones or robots.

Per Kurowski
 Rockville, Maryland, US

PS. This letter was published in FT Magazine on August 1st, 2015. Strangely enough it was not published in the US, and I just received an image, never a copy of it...