Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

4 ways in which UAV warfare is different

My New America colleague Peter Bergen the other day listed four ways in which drone weapons are making warfare significantly different: 1. "armed drones are different from any previous form of artillery because they can linger over and assess a target for many hours." 2. "armed drones also make it possible to wage war against ...

Senior Airman David Carbajal/DVIDS
Senior Airman David Carbajal/DVIDS
Senior Airman David Carbajal/DVIDS

My New America colleague Peter Bergen the other day listed four ways in which drone weapons are making warfare significantly different:

1. "armed drones are different from any previous form of artillery because they can linger over and assess a target for many hours."

2. "armed drones also make it possible to wage war against particular individuals."

My New America colleague Peter Bergen the other day listed four ways in which drone weapons are making warfare significantly different:

1. "armed drones are different from any previous form of artillery because they can linger over and assess a target for many hours."

2. "armed drones also make it possible to wage war against particular individuals."

3. "there is a lower threshold for the use of force when armed drones are an option."

4. "drone warfare is taking place in an unprecedented information environment in which the U.S. government collects ever-vaster amounts of data."

Bonus: Here’s nine more facts from Mr. Bergen about drone proliferation.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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