DRONE WATCH: Drones in the News

By Duane Shank 01-10-2013 | Series:

The United Nations wants to use drones in peacekeeping missions, but some developing countries are opposed, fearing that it will become  a new way for Western countries to gather and control intelligence. According to the Washington Post:

“The United Nations, looking to modernize its peacekeeping operations, is planning for the first time to deploy a fleet of its own surveillance drones in missions in Central and West Africa. The U.N. Department of Peacekeeping has notified Congo, Rwanda and Uganda that it intends to deploy a unit of at least three unarmed surveillance drones in the eastern region of Congo.”

As the tension between China and Japan over disputed islands increases, both are in a “drone race.” The Guardian reports:

“Drones have taken centre stage in an escalating arms race between China and Japan as they struggle to assert their dominance over disputed islands in the East China Sea. China is rapidly expanding its nascent drone programme, while Japan has begun preparations to purchase an advanced model from the US. Both sides claim the drones will be used for surveillance, but experts warn the possibility of future drone skirmishes in the region's airspace is "very high".

USA TODAY notes a “global arms race” in acquiring drones:

“The success of U.S. drones in Iraq and Afghanistan has triggered a global arms race, raising concerns the remotely piloted aircraft could fall into unfriendly hands, military experts say. The number of countries that have acquired or developed drones expanded to more than 75, up from about 40 in 2005, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress.”

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