Study: Drone Tech Proliferation Puts Regional, International Security at Risk

Researchers from the Netherlands recently said that the proliferation of drone technology, brought about in part by the growth of the drone industry as well as the willingness of governments to sell the technology to allies and partners, would likely put regional and international security at risk.

Foeke Postma and Wim Zwijnenburg of the Dutch non-government organization PAX stated in a July 2018 study that the rise in the use of drones by armed forces around the world could increase the risk of international conflict, citing multiple instances where military drones violated the airspace of other countries, at times resulting in actual open hostilities.

Postma and Zwijnenburg also pointed out that, since drones are piloted remotely, states would more likely be willing to use them while adversaries would be more willing to shoot them down, so “the threshold to use force is lowered on both sides of a conflict.”

The researchers called for “a vigorous assessment” to make sure drone technology is used “within existing legal frameworks” and conforms to international norms, adding that failure to do so “risks overlooking potential threats to international and regional stability and security.”

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