Drones and Counterterrorism

Drones and Counterterrorism

The new U.S. counterterrorism strategy emphasizes drone attacks against al Qaida. Other countries are racing to develop drones. How the use of unmanned military aircraft could change the nature of warfare.

America's use of unmanned aircraft to combat terrorism is controversial. Supporters point out predator drones cost less to build than traditional fighter planes. With no pilots flying them, fewer Americans lose their lives. And the ability to target individual terrorists reduces civilian casualties. Opponents argue that too many innocent people are killed. And their use in Pakistan and elsewhere has made the U.S. new enemies while doing little to stop terrorism. These arguments might be moot. The drone industry is expanding as more countries acquire or seek to develop them. Drones in U.S. counterterrorism and future warfare.


Shane Harris

senior writer, Washingtonian magazine; author of "The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State."

Christine Fair

assistant professor, Georgetown University's security studies program; fellow at West Point's Combating Terrorism Center.

Daniel Green

Soref fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

C. Dixon Osburn

director of law and security at Human Rights First.

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.