Do-Gooder Drones

The military use of drones, particularly by the US to kill suspected enemy combatants in Pakistan, has fueled considerable debate. But the discussion misses a crucial point: drones can – and should – be used for good.

TORONTO – A foreign policy revolution is coming, to be led not by a charismatic leader, but by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones. The military use of drones, particularly by the United States to kill suspected enemy combatants in Pakistan, has fueled considerable debate. But the discussion misses a crucial point: drones can be used for good.

More than weapons of warfare, drones have the potential to serve humanitarian causes. Through surveillance and data collection, unarmed drones could benefit human-rights campaigns, development assistance programs, and scientific research.

Technology has far surpassed the verification and reporting methods employed by humanitarian organizations. Micro-drones could assist in aid deployments by locating remote villages or ensuring that money and resources reach their destinations, while allowing donors to watch the campaigns unfold in real time. This would not only improve monitoring and reporting, but would also mollify critics who question whether aid actually reaches the people for whom it is intended.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/wm0s1DV;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.