Drones—robotic, unmanned aerial vehicles used for surveillance—have transformed warfare and are beginning to transform civilian life as well. The overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, with officers on horseback aided by drones, signaled a revolution in military affairs. Since then, drones have generated ethical concerns related to targeted killings and invasions of privacy, and a town in Colorado is exploring the sale of drone-hunting permits. But drones have many other potential uses: improving global food security, capturing poachers and drug kingpins, assessing oil spills in remote areas, preventing and fighting forest fires, conducting search-and-rescue missions, and patrolling the U.S. border. In this recording, experts discuss friendly and unfriendly drones, how they are being used today, who has them, and what other applications indicate cause for concern.
Edward R. Harshberger
Vice President, RAND Corporation; Director, RAND Project AIR FORCE
Senior Engineer, RAND Corporation
Vice President, Marketing Strategy, Communications & Investor Relations, AeroVironment, Inc.