We need a new international accord to control drone proliferation

Agnes Callamard, James Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A second drone age. In her latest report, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions (this article’s co-author, Agnes Callamard) argued that the world has entered a “second drone age.” It is marked by the uncontrolled proliferation of armed drones, the most advanced of which are stealthier, speedier, smaller, and more capable of targeted killings than a previous generation.

As of March 2020, at least 102 nations had acquired military drones, and around 40 possessed, or were in the process of purchasing, armed drones. Some 35 states are now believed to own drones in the largest and deadliest class of these weapons, and at least 20 non-state actors have acquired weaponized drone technologies. Since 2015, the United States and at least 10 other countries (Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the UAE) have allegedly operated drones for the use of force, such as in targeted killings. This drone proliferation has started to have a marked impact on international security.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Online)
ISSN1938-3282
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Drones
  • War
  • Arms Control
  • Weapons

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