At his farewell, u.S. Defense secretary leon panetta (74) introduced a medal of honor for cyber warriors. In the future, soldiers will be awarded for special achievements in drone and computer warfare. It’s the first new medal created by the U.S. Military for combat missions since 1944.
In his years as CIA chief and as secretary, he has seen "how modern technologies like remotely operated platforms and cyber systems have changed the way wars are fought," panetta said wednesday in washington.
These modern technologies would allow soldiers to "attack the enemy and change the course of the battle even from a great distance". There has been no separate award for this type of high-tech warfare until now, said secretary. For this reason, he is now announcing the award of a medal for "distinguished warfare".
President obama’s greatly expanded drone war against terrorists is controversial. Critics complain above all that the legal legitimacy of the use is inadequate, especially when it comes to the targeted killing of U.S. Burgers.
Panetta, who will soon be succeeded by republican chuck hagel, recalled in particular the killing of terrorist leader osama bin laden, who was tracked down by special forces in may 2011 in pakistan. "It was a very special operation, and I think it did a lot to preserve the security of the country," panetta said. The bin laden operation was "very risky". "We never had one hundred percent certainty that bin laden was really there."
Panetta was CIA chief until april 2011, when he moved to head the pentagon. As a retiree, he plans to retire to california.