The U.S. Risks Losing the Drone-War Arms Race

A U.S. service member passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone at Kandahar air base, Afghanistan January 23, 2018. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)
Washington must decide how to prevent our adversaries from outpacing us.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A rmed drones have become a fixture of modern battlefields. Until relatively recently, the United States was the world’s sole drone superpower, deploying Predators and Reapers to stalk terrorists across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. That’s no longer the case. In Libya over the last few months, a conflict that pits the Turkish-backed government in Tripoli against U.A.E.-backed forces has seen drones deployed by both sides. Iran unveiled an army of new drones fitted with anti-tank missiles in April, and China is exporting drones to traditional U.S. allies in the Middle East. Yet Washington is reticent to export its own drone


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