With UAVs and drones being deployed in multiple countries, it begs the question: Do drones make it easier to get into military action? There are a few schools of thought on the matter, but at first thought, most people would agree that being able to make a strike at the push of a button is making war an easier and easier thing to wager.
It was in 1903 that the New York Times published an article with the headline, “Flying Machines Which Do Not Fly.” In the article, experts argued it would take millions of mechanics and engineers tens of thousands of years before we would actually have a real flying machine. The idea of the airplanes we take for granted today was rather recently considered something of science fiction.
Now, travelling by plane or jet is commonplace, and drones have been right behind them in innovation. Unlike the small drones consumers play with to spy on their neighbor’s yard to look out over monuments, military drones are much different.
Drones To The Military
To the military, a drone is actually a UAV, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Up to as large as a small plane and manned remotely via an on-ground pilot, UAVs are used to fly into areas where it’s considered too risky to physically send living troops. With drones going to risky and difficult locations, they give troops a 24/7 “eye in the sky” to oversee their surroundings. A UAV can stay in the air for 17 hours straight before needing to come back down for a re-fueling and maintained check.
How Big Are UAVs?
UAVs can be small enough to launch by hand or as large as the Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk. In between the two, the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force also have armed drones. The US and Royal Air Force do not speak regularly about drone operations, but their use has been confirmed as early as President Bush’s era. Generally, Americans have increasingly become more comfortable with drone strikes and they’ve become more popular in Congress as well.
Do They Raise The Risk Of War?
Again, at first thought, it’s be easy to say yes. After all, when you can spy on the enemy or make a strike without even sending one man in, it would be easy to dissociate yourself from the danger and consequence and start a war with just the push of a button, but once you consider all the facts, you’ll begin to see that drones might actually deter war.
With unmanned military operations, it becomes easier to disengage enemies as needed and protect citizens preemptively. Rather than use unmanned operations to provoke wars, they are primarily being used as a means of avoiding them. President Obama confirmed drones are being used to regularly strike suspected militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas, helping to avoid danger and conflict before it has a chance to escalate.
Whether that strategy will change in the future is anyone’s guess, but for now, there are much more fun, creative, and safe ways to use drones for the average consumer. UAV Haven has an awesome selection of drones for your average enthusiast.