The circumstances surrounding this accident are currently unknown. Depending on the details, this could be anything from old-fashioned operator error by the pilot-in-training to a major flaw in the design of the Reaper drone. Whatever the cause, this will not be the last lost drone, as both demand for (and supply of) the technology is […]
Many have suggested that Congress primarily hears about the drone strikes from the military and intelligence communities, who generally wish to defend their operations. This attempt to give voice to the other side of the story comes at a time of rising discontent over the US drone strikes, both abroad and at home.
On 1 Nov. a drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud. Pakistani opinion on drone strikes being what it is, this event has touched off a political firestorm in Pakistan, culminating in the resolution discussed in this article. Many in Pakistan believe that the United States made this high-profile strike to […]
Lasers have long been the headline-grabbing weapon of the future, so it is perhaps no surprise that they should appear along with drones. Though already deployed and widely used, drones and other robotic systems still have an aura of science fiction about them. Time will tell if the weight and size requirements defined by lasers […]
In further fallout from the previously noted Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch report, the Pakistani government’s ability to deny cooperation with the US drone strikes program is a looking particularly doubtful, perhaps contributed to the increase in Prime Minister Sharif’s attempts to end the strikes.
Variations of this story have been produced by many major news organizations around the world, including the New York Times (“Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes Cited in Report“, “The Deaths of Innocents“), al Jazeera (“US strikes condemned in rights report“) in addition to the Guardian story directly linked by this post. This appears to be […]
Various kinds of unmanned vehicles have long been used in war – from self-guiding missiles and torpedoes to the more recent bomb-disposal robots. This article points toward a future where unmanned vehicles will not just track targets selected by humans or keep humans out of dangerous situations, but actively and autonomously assist human soldiers.
Despite interest, the United States and Israel remain the dominant manufacturers of drones. Some of Europe’s problems seem to originate from bad management – see the part about their being more requested variants of a drone than countries offering to buy it. Others come down to bad PR management – namely Germany’s EuroDrone project, killed […]
The word “drone” is a controversial one. It originally referred to automated targets for training, such as the F-16 in this article. While many in the Air Force (as well as other UAV operators) detest the term, ‘drone’ appears to be becoming the standard word for the technology. A similar linguistic example would be how […]
The greatest public concern over domestic drones is privacy. As UAVs become more common and more widely used, the debate over their use and regulation will only get more intense. This year’s revelations about the NSA has presumably not helped various departments’ arguments for self-regulation, though surveys on the subject of drones remain rare and […]