While the majority of drones are still used for surveillance activities and their use widespread for reconnaissance and civilian purposes around the world, there has in recent years been the emergence of attack drones by three countries – the United States, Israel and the UK. The UK introduced them five years ago, and technical innovation marches forward with legal and moral issues left unaccounted for. Drones provide immunity from the impacts of warfare, combined with imperfect technology, leading to risk for civil populations and major concerns for the future. BASIC’s Helen Martin argues that the UK is in a unique position to influence credible future global rules of engagement for drones, and must act quickly to do so.
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