La guerra a distancia

BRUSELAS – En 1936, el poeta estadounidense Carl Sandburg escribió un verso lleno de esperanza: “Algún día declararán una guerra y nadie irá”. Hoy sus palabras parecen más apropiadas que nunca, pero no porque la humanidad se haya vuelto pacifista, sino porque cada vez más la guerra se combate a distancia, enviando aviones no tripulados (drones) a matar al enemigo.

Durante la presidencia de Barack Obama, se ha dado un abrupto aumento de la cantidad de ataques teledirigidos lanzados por Estados Unidos, que según algunos informes ya superan los 300 sólo en Pakistán. En marzo de 2011, la Fuerza Aérea de los Estados Unidos llegó a un punto de inflexión cuando, por primera vez en su historia, entrenó a más pilotos para actuar como controladores de aviones no tripulados que para otras tareas.

Estas armas plantean graves cuestiones éticas. Como el personal militar que las usa no arriesga sus vidas, matar es más fácil, y también es más fácil justificar las operaciones bélicas ante la opinión pública interna. Además, el rechazo de los seres humanos a matar es inversamente proporcional a la distancia entre el atacante y el objetivo. Para un piloto encargado de teledirigir drones sobre Yemen manipulando un mando a distancia en Nevada, el umbral que debe superar para apretar el gatillo es peligrosamente bajo. Matar se convierte en un trabajo más, después del cual tal vez se vaya a jugar una partida de bolos o a pasar una velada tranquila en casa.

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