FUTURE WARS

America's Robot Air Force

In its efforts to combat terrorists abroad, the military is becoming increasingly reliant on unmanned, heavily armed, robotic aircraft that receive their marching orders via satellite from thousands of miles away. Produced by Skynet—er, General Atomics—the Pentagon's fleet of 195 Predator models and 28 Reapers have been in constant demand, most notably in Pakistan, where some three dozen missile strikes have been launched against suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban members in recent months. Of course the use of the robotic air force raises many uncomfortable questions: Has anyone at the Pentagon watched the Terminator movies? The Matrix? That awful Jamie Foxx film?