Weekend Roundup 2/23

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.


Plenty of news/commentary/hype/trending articles on the rise of domestic drones. Privacy concerns dominate, particularly regarding the new imaging technology: ARGUS-IS.


The Virginia state legislature has placed a two-year moratorium on drones and Arizona considers following suit. The debate continues in Seattle over police use of drones.


“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.




Quote of the week: “They’re the worst form of war, except for all the others.” – William Saletan –


Follow the Center for the Study of the Drone @DroneCenter and on Facebook.

Image courtesy of The New York Times.