What if another country or a terrorist organization were able to deploy military drones with capabilities similar to those used by the United States? This is a possible reality that Micah Zenko from the Council on Foreign Relations thinks about when he questions the practice of the Bush and Obama administrations of sending these drones across borders to eliminate threats. Do we really want to live in a world where this kind of killing machine is allowed free reign of the skies to execute deadly missions at the whim of either our own government, another government or that of a terrorist organization? The New York Times statistics concerning the use of drones in the current conflicts in Afghanistan and the surrounding areas are:

“In Pakistan, according to American officials, strikes from Predators and Reapers operated by the C.I.A. have killed more than 2,000 militants; the number of civilian casualties is hotly debated. In Yemen last month, an American citizen was, for the first time, the intended target of a drone strike, as Anwar al-Awlaki, the [al-]Qaeda propagandist and plotter, was killed along with a second American, Samir Khan.”

The proliferation of military drone technology is what concerns theorists because, once this technology is in widespread use, what position will the United States use to protest other nations’ dispatching drones into bordering countries to deal with threats? So far only the United States, Israel and Great Britain have used military drones in strikes on enemies, but the expected entrance of the Chinese weapons industry into drone manufacturing is expected to increase the number of nations using the technology. Already some fifty nations have developed some sort of U.A.V. type device according to the New York Times.

As the recent story of Rezwan Ferdaus demonstrates, drone technology in even its most elementary forms poses a threat to domestic security apart from its international implications.

[New York Times]