Drone technology and the way the United States uses it has the potential to destabilize battlefields, governments and even American democracy, according to a new report by a task force that includes former U.S. military officials.
The report, released by the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank, surveyed the Obama administration’s use of drones and concluded that while they can be a powerful and effective force in wars, they can also interfere with the sovereignty of other nations and cause unnecessary conflict abroad. The report also suggested that the Obama administration’s secrecy surrounding U.S. drone programs is to blame for the public’s current misconceptions and fears about the aircraft, which are also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The Stimson report comes more than a year after President Barack Obama promised to curtail and increase accountability on the use of drones during a speech at National Defense University. But little has changed since that speech, and in that time the calls for reform have grown louder. While Obama has faced harsh criticism from human rights activists about his drone programs, the Stimson report added the voices of military officials and members of the defense industry to the national debate.