Deadlier Skies: Risks and Benefits of Drone Technology

Drone Warfare

Last week, the U.S. nearly launched retaliatory attacks against Iran for the shooting down of a U.S. military drone that was operating in the region.  While the Trump Administration has been casting some doubt in recent days as to whether the downing of the aircraft was authorized at the highest levels in Iran, the incident highlights the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in conflict zones and just how quickly incidents involving drones can lead to escalation.  And it’s not just the military that is affected by this fast-developing technology that’s giving a lot more power to the person holding the controls. 

Singapore’s Changi airport was forced to close multiple runways recently after unauthorized drones were spotted operating nearby.

On May 14th, Saudi Arabia was forced to halt pumping on a major oil pipeline, after the pipeline was attacked using armed drones. Houthis operating in Yemen and supported via Iranian arms and training, claimed responsibility for that attack.  

In January of this year, flights at London’s Heathrow Airport were temporarily halted after a drone was spotted operating in the vicinity.

The threat of drones is prolific, from the military’s reliance on them, to an adversary’s ability to easily create panic and disrupt society, to their use by Nation States looking to further regional interests via proxy groups, as Iran is often accused of doing.  

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