About Five Thousand Drones

In 2009, there were five thousand unmanned vehicles in Iraq. Of the drones not dispatched to Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) teams, most were piloted or driven by marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers located in the United States. These men and women go to work in shifts. They sit for eight, ten, twelve hours a day in cubicles that are little different than those found in office buildings around the world. What they spend those hours doing would, to most, look like a video game, but the destruction witnessed on their screens is real. At the end of the day they drive home. They sit in traffic, they stop for gas, they pick up groceries, they talk to their children about their homework. Drones have made it possible for a soldier to fight a war without ever going to war; they have created ranks of invisible veterans.

FiveThousandDrones.com is writer, designer, journalist and political science student’s Aidan Gowland’s attempt to recreate the power, deception and closeness of war through his own poetry, prose and articles and through news stories, photographs and videos from around the web. It straddles the line between truth and fiction, to replicate the way memory works after trauma.

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