Since 2011 when U.S. citizen al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike, various civil rights groups (and family members) have sought to obtain (and challenge) the legal justification for the strike. The issue gained further notoriety in early 2013, when Attorney General Eric Holder refused to rule out a lethal drone strike on U.S. citizens […]
Drones and the NSA: two of the biggest stories in military technology meet in this article. The NSA provides targets’ cell-phone location data, and drones often collect signals intelligence data for the NSA to analyze. Perhaps even more interesting than this predictable synthesis is the terrorists/insurgents’ adaptation. By changing or trading cell phones, the article […]
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 […]
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 […]
That this story appeared in the Guardian (UK) and alJazeera (Qatar) but not U.S. news organizations underscores the uniqueness of the U.S. majority support for drone strikes in a world that generally disapproves of them.
The drone strike killed four suspected militants – and a dozen civilian passengers in the truck. Whether intentional or not, such strikes imply a lack of concern for bystanders that explains the heavily negative perception of drones in the region.
Notable is that some of the proposed responses include al-Qaeda building their own drones. While most drones today are dependent on major power’s global communications reach and strong technological/industrial base, UAVs are remarkably simple for today’s technology and small, cheap versions can be obtained or built by anyone. Terrorist and insurgent groups of all kinds […]
The origin of military UAVs is in remotely guided or self-guiding missiles. Many modern examples (such as the Israeli Harpy & Harop) are quite large and designed to wait for hours for the opportune moment, but the technology has matured to the point where person carried versions are practical.