July 14, 2017

Time for US to treat modern drones like aircraft, not missiles

President Trump’s decision last month to sell MQ-9B Guardian drones to India represents a significant shift in U.S. drone export policy.

International transfers of drones like the MQ-9 are restricted by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an anachronism from 30 years ago when the MTCR was signed and drones functioned more like missiles than aircraft. The Trump administration’s decision to sell MQ-9s to India is a good first step to treating drones like aircraft, which are not covered under the MTCR. But if the administration follows up with additional drone sales to other nations, it will be important for the U.S. to clearly distinguish drones from missiles in order to preserve the MTCR’s norm against missile proliferation.


Read the full piece on The Hill.

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