Killer drone proliferation

In an article about killer drones made in Turkey, The Intercept wrote yesterday:

While the U.S. was the foremost operator of armed, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the world for more than a decade, launching the first drone attack in 2001, today more than a dozen countries possess this technology. The U.K., Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Nigeria, and Turkey have all used armed UAVs to kill targets since 2015. Efforts by Washington to control proliferation through restrictions on drone exports have failed to slow down a global race to acquire the technology. Meanwhile, the U.S. has set a precedent of impunity by carrying out hundreds of strikes that have killed civilians over the last decade.

“We are well past the time when the proliferation of armed drones can in any way be controlled,” said Chris Woods, a journalist who has tracked drone use for more than a decade and director of the conflict monitor Airwars. “So many states and even nonstate actors have access to armed drone capabilities — and they are being used across borders and within borders — that we are now clearly within the second drone age, that is, the age of proliferation.”

The following is an excerpt from one of the comments to the article:

How long until killer robots are being used in the U.S.? We’ve already seen at least one lethal strike with a remotely controlled unmanned vehicle carried out by domestic law enforcement, in Dallas a couple years ago – the only difference being it was a ground vehicle not an aerial vehicle.

There are a number of routes by which lethal drone strikes could be introduced in the U.S. – in SWAT raids and other standoff situations, against suspected “terrorists” the government claims are armed, against alleged drug traffickers the government claims would be dangerous to try to arrest, against people suspected of crossing the border illegally in the desert. And like a snowball rolling downhill, it’ll become normalized.

As described in the Swedish book Världens dummaste folk?, even Sweden apparently participates in extrajudicial executions by drones.