Three important articles coming from the Grey Lady this week. 100 US troops have been sent to Niger to establish a Predator drone base in Niamey, the capital. It turns out that fighting from a Nevada air base incurs mental health problems among drone pilots at the same rate as among pilots of manned aircraft. China planned to kill a Myanmar drug lord with a drone.
Drone strikes up 72% in Afghanistan in 2012 from 2011.
What role will drones play in the post-Afghanistan US military? “Despite the drawdown in the Marine Corps and across DoD, it’s fairly telling that our unmanned aviation community continues to grow.” – Maj. Dave Funkhouser –
Want to avoid a drone strike? Al-Qaeda has 22 tips for just that purpose. Highlights: use dolls as decoys, assign a sniper team to take out the drone.
The Iranian Navy plans to equip its ships with drones: “’We are producing 20 types of UAVs inside the country, which are classified in the three categories of long, short and mid-range and altitude,’” said Deputy Defense Minister for Industrial and Research Affairs Mohammad Eslami.
The United Arab Emirates plans to buy $197million worth of drones from General Atomics which, in Predators, at $4m/unit, would amount to about 49 unmanned aircraft. This is the first purchase of American-made drone technology by a non-NATO country.
Drones are helping with security in Brazil in anticipation of the Confederation Cup.
National Geographic: drones are going domestic. A bit behind the curve, but good photos of many a homegrown drone.
“Drone industry concerned with it’s public image.”
Two drones playing catch with a stick.
More drone art. A couple builds an 18-ft replica “covered with a sequins, fabric and rhinestones.”
NEXT Wednesday, 2/27 at 10:00am, there will be a Congressional hearing on “Drones and the War On Terror: When Can the U.S. Target Alleged American Terrorists Overseas?”
For a little drone comic relief, the Kroll Show imagines the mundane side of piloting war drones.
- Lawfare has a reading list on the regulation of Autonomous Weapons Systems.
- One side of the Enhanced Interrogation versus Drones debate.
- Can drones be used against journalists?
- Kill or capture? Ryan Goodman at Slate analyzes the Obama administration’s DOJ white paper law of war [lack of] logic.
- A discussion of the Human Rights Watch campaign against drones.
- Editorial in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper on drones.
- Bard alum Matt Taibbi in a rather sensationalist editorial on drones.
- This has been out for a while but in case you missed it: Bard Professor Teju Cole in the New Yorker on drones.
Quote of the week: “They’re the worst form of war, except for all the others.” – William Saletan –
Image courtesy of The New York Times.