Rise of the Drones

MQ-9_Reaper_in_flight-wiki.jpg

Credit: SSgt Brian Ferguson
A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

Since his re-election, President Obama has given no indication that he would change anything about the drone program, which he embraced in his first term to kill al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan without risking American lives.

The drone attacks are highly unpopular among many Pakistanis in particular, who consider them a violation of sovereignty that cause unacceptable civilian casualties. Now, the UN is launching an investigation into the impact of drone strikes and so-called targeted killings on civilians.

But drones aren't just for warfare. The Federal Aviation Administration predicts there will be thousands of drones over domestic skies within the next decade, doing everything from watching traffic to delivering packages. And this doesn't even take into account the thousands more worldwide that will be used to do things like watch borders or deter rhino poaching. This raises numerous questions about cost, privacy and safety.

The World looks at the implications of America's so called drone war in Asia, and the proliferation of drones worldwide and here at home.

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