Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Growing Drone Race

U.S. Reaper drones at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. One is armed with two 500-lb bombs. Source: GlobalPost

James Bamford, Foreign Policy: Terrorists Have Drones Now. Thanks, Obama.

86 countries have drones, 19 of them armed. Now ISIS wants them too. Is it too late to stop the unmanned arms race?

Hanging in an atrium of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, home to the Wright brothers’ plane and the Mercury capsule that first carried an American into space, is a Predator drone with the tail number 3034. Like the other vehicles on display, it made history by launching a revolution: Nearly one month after 9/11, in the skies above Afghanistan, 3034 became the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to kill humans with a remotely fired missile.

Once little more than novelties, militarized drones are now buzzing around the globe like locusts. According to New America, “the virtual monopoly on drones that the States once enjoyed is long gone.” Eighty-six countries have some drone capability, with 19 either possessing armed drones or acquiring the technology. At least six countries other than America have used drones in combat, and in 2015, defense consulting firm Teal Group estimated that drone production would total $93 billion over the next decade—reaching more than three times the current market value.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The terrorists did not need President Obama to encourage them to go down this road. The genie got out of the bottle long before President Obama was elected President .... and blow-back from these groups should surprise no one.

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