The Rise of the Drones (Page 2 of 2)

America’s use of drones has also prompted many other countries to develop their own or buy drones from the international market, including Britain, Israel, India, Russia, South African and China. Indeed, China is particularly ambitious, having sold Wing Loong UAVs to a number of countries. It is now developing its stealth drone “Li Jian” (Sharp Sword), which makes it the third country capable of producing such weapons, after America’s X-47 and France’s nEUROn.

Countries that don’t have drones may feel threatened and less secure, and seek similar or other asymmetrical means to maintain the balance of power. This could lead to an arms race. What’s more, as the adage says, to the man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. Leaders and field commanders may become overconfident in their technology, making them more assertive than prudence would normally dictate.

Security experts worry that drones, usually fielded in geopolitically dangerous areas of the world, may contribute to the outbreak of more small wars and conflict escalation. In the Middle East, Iran and Israel are adversaries armed with advanced drones. Israel is now more likely to use drones in strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. If that happens, Iran will certainly retaliate, probably using drones, too. In East Asia, China has used drones to monitor the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea, and Japan has indicated that it plans to do the same. Tokyo has said it may shoot down Chinese drones, prompting a warning by Beijing that this would mean war with China. Taiwan, South Korea, India and a number of ASEAN countries are seeking to buy Global Hawk drones from the U.S., potentially escalating tensions in the South China Sea.

While the U.S. today enjoys the advantages of drones in its fight against terrorism, the White House needs to consider the strategic implications: proliferation, possible arms races, and the irresponsible use of UAVs in regional disputes and conflicts. As a global leader, the U.S. should cooperate with the UN and other international organizations to monitor and regulate the use of drones. Irresponsible use should be taken very seriously, and condemned by the international community.

Duan Xiaolin is a PhD student in Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National university of Singapore. Research interests include small wars, foreign and public policy analysis.

November 8, 2013 at 16:32

nice article about drone of teroorism..

November 6, 2013 at 05:06

had you known or wanted to know the socioeconomic conditions of so called "supporters of terrorists"? are they really supporting the terrorism ? they are being victims of these brutal attacks just because they are residing that unfortunate part of land . . . .while being devoid of even the basic can they be "blamed"for supporting the terrorists??

Joshua Smith
November 4, 2013 at 14:18

These so called civilians are terrorist supporters and associates. The enemy is just waging a propoganda war. If you hang out with terrorist there is a strong chance that you will die. What Pakistan doesn't fully understand is that we and the Taliban have a thing and it is mutually beneficial. We need targets that will shoot back and they want to become martrys. It's trade that keeps our soldiers sharp and weeds out the dumb and unlucky. That's the brutal truth and most definitely not PC. You can't make generals without war.

November 4, 2013 at 01:37

We should tell these nations that if they could actually control the territories they claim to own right over we would not need the drones flying over killing enemies before they can follow through on their dreams of kiling Americans.  If Pakistan would arrest capture the terrorist we request the drones would be irrelevent.  The problem for US and Pakistan is that in the NW territories the Paki gov as limited to no authority.  If they tried to impose their will as they did in S Warizistan they would be in for a long bloody fight.


Sorry Paki, Yemeni, Somali, (should be Libya), Afghani, governments we will continue kiling our enemies form above with drones until the target list dry up or you actually get control of your own nations territories.  


All nations have radicals but in civilized nations the governments control their territory and don't allow their radicals to go off killing others.

November 2, 2013 at 19:53

I have mixed emontions on the use of drones, perhaps if I was on the recieving end, I'd be more against them (which says something itself.) However, the young lady with the drawing gives the entire concept an Orlwellian ting, hugh steel predators flying through the sky causing death and distruction without a face or being, Creepy.

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