In June, the United States shot down two Iranian-made armed drones used by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The fact that the shoot down (and the existence of the armed drones themselves) barely registered as a significant news event shows the extent to which drones are becoming a normal feature of international conflicts.
Drones are rapidly proliferating around the globe and are now in the hands of an increasing number of state and nonstate actors. The widespread availability of drones brings new challenges to international security. As more actors have access to drones, they are likely to use them in ways that challenge norms of sovereignty and change conflict dynamics. U.S. policymakers should begin thinking now about how to best prepare for these challenges and, to the extent possible, shape emerging patterns of behavior surrounding drone use.
Read the full article in The National Interest.