Keeping Up With the Droneses

Oh great. Something else to worry about. A drone arms race and low-rent operators.

 Of course, neither WMD-armed drones nor cutting-edge UCAVs like the Predator or Reaper have fallen into un-deterrable hands—at least not yet. But if history is any guide, they will. Such is the nature of proliferation. CRS notes that Israel was so far ahead of the United States in military-drone development that “initial U.S. capabilities came from platforms acquired from Israel.” Today, Israel is sharing drone technologies with India, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Ecuador. One day, these countries will share what they know with others. And so on.

Consider the case of Venezuela. Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has hired Iranian missile engineers to build him a fleet UAVs. Chavez’s drones are nowhere near the Predator class of drones, according to one Air Force general. As Wired’s Danger Room website notes, given the limited capabilities of Chavez’s drones, “It’s exceedingly unlikely that Venezuela and Iran will be able to team up and invade the United States with a fleet of robotic aircraft any time soon.” But given the rhetoric and actions of Caracas and Tehran, it’s fair to conclude that a) their goal is to have the ability to threaten the U.S. with standoff weapons like drones and b) they are closer to that goal today than before they launched their drone collaboration.

Marvelous. According to the article, badly operated drones are dropping like flies all over Somalia already. Just think how much more interesting things are going to get in the near future.

Fortunately, the Crabitat is already well guarded.

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