Virtually every country on Earth will be able to build or acquire drones capable of firing missiles within the next ten years. Armed aerial drones will be used for targeted killings, terrorism and the government suppression of civil unrest. What’s worse, say experts, it’s too late for the United States to do anything about it.
After the past decade’s explosive growth, it may seem that the U.S. is the only country with missile-carrying drones. In fact, the U.S. is losing interest in further developing armed drone technology. The
military plans to spend $2.4 billion on unmanned aerial vehicles, or
UAVs, in 2015. That’s down considerably from the $5.7 billion that the military requested in the
2013 budget. Other countries, conversely, have shown growing interest in
making unmanned robot technology as deadly as possible. Only a handful
of countries have armed flying drones today, including the U.S., United
Kingdom, Israel, China and (possibly) Iran, Pakistan and Russia. Other
countries want them, including South Africa and India. So far, 23
countries have developed or are developing armed drones, according to a
recent report from the RAND organization. It’s only a matter of time before the lethal technology spreads, several experts say.