Drone strikes during the Obama Administration were never as precise or as morally acceptable as the President thought they were, but Obama made a sincere attempt to use them in as moral a manner as was possible. The new guy? Ehh, not so much.
The dangers ahead. Under Trump, destructiveness has been mistaken for effectiveness, and this is likely to prove counterproductive. Knee-jerk and extreme responses do not make good counter-terror policy. Trump’s shift toward a more indiscriminate form of air strike—alongside the increased deployment of drones—might increase the risk of “blowback,” as former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James E. Cartwright called it. So, in the future, drone-strike-inspired terrorism will likely remain a danger to the United States and its allies.
Yemen in particular is taking a real beating.
Meanwhile, the drone program is intensifying. Since President Donald Trump took office earlier this year, the rate of drone strikes per month has increased by almost four times Obama’s average. Yemen in particular has been a target of many of these operations, with between nine and 11 strikes hitting the country this year, along with 81 other covert attacks by U.S. forces, according to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The US military is spending $1.5 million to develop defenses against small drones that cost less than a $1,000. They figure that the communications and telemetry links are the weak spots of small drones and that right now is their focus on shooting them down. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is less than pleased about people using commercial drones to examine hurricane damage down near Houston, TX. People are doing it anyway, even though the FAA says that drone use is interfering with rescue operations. As far as rescue pilots are concerned, the drones are just something else to have to avoid collisions with.