Unmanned aircrafts are aerial vehicles that are operated by individuals from remote workstations who monitor their progress while facilitating the operation of the targeted mission. An unmanned aircraft does not have a person onboard. In most cases, an unmanned aircraft is called a drone. Its size is smaller than that of a normal aircraft because its components are fewer than those of normal aircrafts which carry people onboard (Brunstetter 70).
An unmanned aircraft usually carry weapons for use in military operations, exceptional emissions as well as civil purposes. Civil purposes can include fire control, ordinary security checks and surveillance as well as police patrols. These aircrafts can have varying sizes but they usually fly for many hours than manned aircrafts. They are effectively used in risky and dangerous operations and their results are satisfying.
Initially, unmanned aircrafts were used by the US for purposes of surveillance. However, they are now used as fatal weapons during wars where they gather intelligence and launch missiles especially across the borders of the US (Randal 40).
The US Should Use Unmanned Aircraft for Military Purposes outside its Boarders
Although research shows that unmanned aircrafts have been used by the US in addressing security issues, they should be used continuously outside the boarders where they have been used effectively and efficiently. Unmanned aircrafts were used by the United States for the first time to gather intelligence from countries that were considered a threat in the 1960s. This enabled the United States to position itself before taking the necessary action strategically (Frank 30).
The first unmanned aircrafts were inefficient and simple. However, the efficiency and nature of unmanned aircrafts has improved significantly due to technological innovation. Today, different US leaders use drones remotely in countering threats by engaging in military operations where necessary.
According to research, there are many types of unmanned aircrafts in use in the US today. They include small drones that are mostly used in gathering intelligence and big drones that are used in hurling missiles. The trend of using unmanned aircrafts in the US rose from 2000 after George W. Bush became the president. Bush authorized the military to use drones regularly in the war against terrorism. Drones were mainly used in gathering intelligence at that time (Lewis 20).
However, studies reveal that the trend of using drones hit the highest mark during the Obama’s administration. Statistics show that in four days, a drone is used in releasing missiles. However, information about these attacks is not reported since it is considered as top secrets in the military which can be revealed to national leaders and top military officials only.
The September 11th attack on the US in 2011 by terrorists which left many people dead and several others injured has always been used to justify the use of unmanned aircrafts by the United States. The US says that this attack is an adequate reason why the use of these instruments should continue in the war against terrorism. These instruments have been used by the US in attacking different places such as Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. These are countries that are known for having terrorists because their governments are pro-terrorist or unstable.
In the war against terrorism, unmanned aircrafts are seen as the most appropriate military means because they are able to locate militants and strike them with accuracy. They are also able to locate militants from a distance (Terrill 120). The US has always used this argument in justifying its use of unmanned aircrafts since terrorists usually live in remote and isolated places. In remote and isolated places, terrorists rule without resistance and this enables them to plan their attacks of other places. Over 5 Al Qaeda leaders have been killed using drones to target them. Other operatives with special skills such as bomb-making skills and the ability to recruit suicide bombers have also been killed after using drones to target them. This has weakened terrorist groups and their allies (Brunstetter 75).
Unmanned aircrafts are also used in killing terrorists and militant leaders from where they usually hide. Developing effective and efficient drones had high initial capital. However, the cost of using drones in military operations is very minimal since there are few military personnel involved. This has relieved the military budget in the US which currently amounts to billions. This further justifies the need to continue using unmanned aircrafts in the US military (Randal 50).
Effectiveness in the recruitment, training and communication among other activities of the terrorists is drastically reduced by the use of unmanned aircrafts by the US. This is because they discourage them from using electronic communication. Drones also discourage terrorists from gathering in large groups since such groups can easily be detected by drones. Drones also reduce casualties which make them the most appropriate means of protecting citizens while fighting terrorism outside the boarders of the United States.
Evidently, the US has lost many troops who went out to fight terrorists in places where they hide (Thierry 23). Therefore, the US can avoid unnecessary deaths of its military personnel by using drones in such places without relenting on the war against terrorism.
Few civilian casualties are reported when drones are used. They also cause minimum destruction of properties as compared to other military methods because their impact comes from lesser magnitude (Lewis 32). These instruments can also fly for several hours as they wait for the right opportunity in order to strike their target. This helps in reducing the chances of destroying structures or killing innocent people which usually happens during large-scale attacks.
There is evidence to prove that international leaders have secretly supported drones and their use in military operations in countries where militants operate from. These leaders have hosted drones’ facilities to enhance their attack since their informed about the attacks before they take place (Thierry 35).
Among the leaders who secretly accepted drones to be used in striking terrorists is the former president of Yemen. He covered for these instruments claiming that his armies made the attack. This support shows that the enemy that is being fought by these leaders is the same enemy that the US is fighting. Therefore, the US should continue its use of unmanned aircrafts outside its borders because this weakens terrorist activities and militant’s leadership.
Despite this support not being expressed openly, it has helped in weakening the militants. This has led to a reduction in the threat and havoc that comes from terrorism (Frank 35). Terrorists are becoming increasingly aware of the danger that different sources pose to them. As such, they are now devising efficient ways of acting, mobilizing, communicating and striking. Swifter responses are therefore required in order to achieve significant results. This will only be possible if drones continue being used in this war. Obviously, other interventions require time to plan and develop armed personnel. This can make countering terrorists and militants difficult. Drones are the most efficient and quickest response that is available at the moment. Therefore, the US should continue its use of unmanned aircrafts outside its borders (Terrill 138).
Adequate evidence to prove the essence of using drones outside the US borders in addressing different issues that threatens national security exists. The United States has used drones from the early 1960s. Drones have proven their effectiveness in addressing these issues and this has enabled the US administration to address issues that threaten the country. Using drones, the US has gathered relevant intelligence. It has also conducted vital military activities including releasing military gadgets like bombs and missiles. Terrorist activities have also been countered by the US through the use of unmanned aircrafts to inhibit communication which affects the plans of terrorists.
Using drones, the United States has also attacked key terrorist leaders especially the leaders of Al Qaeda without losing military personnel since drones do not attack terrorists on a one-on-one basis. Therefore, the United States ought to keep using drones because they are economical since they do not require extra cost like the one that is incurred while hiring military personnel. The US should use unmanned aircrafts outside the boarders since they reduce hazards that relate to infrastructural facilities and human life. Thus, drones should be used because they reduce unnecessary property and life losses.
Brunstetter, Megan. “The Implications of Drones on the just War Tradition”, Journal of Ethics & International Affairs, 25.3 (2011): 65-86.
Frank, Ulrike.”Drone and US Strategy: Costs and Benefits”, Journal of Parameters, 43.2 (2013): 20-55.
Lewis, Michael.”Drones and the Boundaries of the Battlefield”, Texas International law Journal, 42.2 (2012): 12-42.
Randal, Beard. Small Unmanned Aircraft: Theory and Practice, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (2012): 36-59.
Terrill, Andrew. “Drones over Yemen: Weighing Military Benefits and Political Costs”, Journal of Parameters, 42.1 (2013):110-150.
Thierry, Gongora. Toward a Revolution in Military Affairs? Defense and Security at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT (2000): 12-59.