Alejandro Garcia De La Garza

World of Drones: How Unmanned Aircraft Are Extending American Hegemony

Drones were initially developed for surveillance missions. The iconic MQ-1 Predator debuted during the Balkan wars, surveying the operations over Bosnia, tracking the movement of Serbian troops in real time and providing hours of surveillance data by staying in the air for longer than previously possible. The use of drones for offensive operations was only fully realised with the US-led ‘war on terror’, targeting al-Qaida and its associates. ‘Signature strikes’ in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen have generated much controversy, especially covert operations by the Central Intelligence Agency, with many civilians killed, many more feeling targeted and little or no accountability from the authorities.

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