How powerful are unmanned killing machines for drones

USA want to rely even more on drones

The controversial use of unmanned combat drones is to be greatly expanded in crisis regions.

Washington. Clean killing from the air without endangering its own soldiers: The US military has been praising unmanned combat drones as an advance in warfare for years. The remote-controlled missiles are also used for reconnaissance purposes in crisis areas such as Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. In the future, the Pentagon wants to rely even more on drones: The number of flights should be increased from 61 per day to 90 within the next four years, the "Wall Street Journal" reported on Monday.

With this, the Pentagon wants to improve Washington's attack and reconnaissance capabilities in the crisis regions around the world. The US Air Force, which currently commands most of the drone operations, will in future be supported by the army, the US command for special operations and service providers on behalf of the government, the paper writes.

Controversial under international law

In countries like Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen, the drones are used specifically to eliminate terror suspects. In Libya, too, the killing machines with names like Predator or Grim Reaper could be used against supporters of the Islamic State terrorist militia.

The plans call on critics who accuse Washington of killing many civilians in the process. According to independent estimates, the number of innocent victims is said to be around 3,000 dead. The operations are also controversial under international law because suspected terrorists are killed without a trial. The program was expanded under US President Barack Obama.

Regardless of all concerns about international law, Germany, France and Italy also want to develop their own combat drone by 2025. (ag.)

("Die Presse", print edition, August 18, 2015)