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May 9, 2022 33 min

This episode contains descriptions of suicide. 

Over the past five years, a series of investigations by The Times has revealed the terror and tragedy that America’s air wars, despite being promoted as the most precise in history, have brought to civilians on the ground.

The program has also exacted a heavy toll on the military personnel guiding the drones to their targets. They include soldiers such as Capt. Kevin Larson, a decorated pilot, who died by suicide after a drug arrest and court-martial.

For suicide prevention resources in the United States, go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources. Go here for resources outside the United States.

Guest: Dave Philipps, a national correspondent covering the military for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

  • Captain Larson was one of the best drone pilots in the U.S. Air Force. Yet as the job weighed on him and untold others, the military failed to recognize its full impact.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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