Rise of the drones poses growing dilemma for military

Monday, April 2, 2012 - 10:06 in Earth & Climate

MoD confronts moral and legal issues as armed robots increasingly take warfare out of human controlDrones, armed with cameras and increasingly with bombs and missiles, are fast becoming a key weapon of modern warfare. The US regards the pilotless aircraft as vital in operations in Afghanistan, but particularly in attacks on suspected insurgents and al-Qaida remnants across the border in Pakistan.The Obama administration has dramatically stepped up the use of CIA drones, not only along the Afghan/Pakistan border, but in Yemen and Somalia. Israel is at the forefront of drone technology, but Britain and France have been slow to invest in these increasingly sophisticated aircraft.As drones are operated remotely and are targeted using intelligence that is often unclear or mistaken, it is scarcely surprising that they strike innocent civilians.It is no great surprise, either, that US scientists have been toying with the idea of nuclear-powered drones since range and endurance...

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