What makes drones so disturbing to us now, when they've been around for decades? John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch, attempts to untangle the answers to that question in this episode of Nation Conversations. He argues that because drones linger over the battlefield and allow us to target specific individuals, not just places, they seem more like "robot assassins" and less like other, more traditional kinetic weapons. Sifton and executive editor Betsy Reed also discuss the policy issues surrounding drones, animal behaviorist theories of aggression, post-traumatic stress disorder and the sanitization of violence.
For more, read Sifton's article, "A Brief History of Drones ," in the current issue of The Nation.
Subscribe to Nation Conversations on iTunes  for exclusive audio of Nation editors and writers digging into the topics and issues that shape the magazine. Check back for a new episode each Thursday.