Armed Drones: A Very German Drama

Armed Drones: A Very German Drama

Germany has been debating whether to get armed drones for nearly a decade. Constant political shifts with a never ending debate have resulted in a drawn out process that was recently torpedoed once more. I sit down with Dr. Ulrike Franke, Drone Expert and Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations to discuss what is going on in Germany.

– Support –
Channel Memberships:

– Expert –
Dr. Ulrike Franke, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations:
Profile & Publications:
Schicherheitshalber [Podcast]:

Follow her here:

– Reading recommendations –
Dr. Ulrike Franke, Drone Warfare, Oxford Bibliographies: 2017

Bradley Jay Strawser & Jeff McMahan, Killing by Remote Control, Oxford University Press: 2013

Chris Woods, Sudden Justice, Oxford University Press: 2015

– Social Media –

– Timecodes –
00:00 – Intro
01:00 – Expert: Dr. Ulrike Franke
01:30 – What is happening in Germany?
03:41 – Rent-a-drone: Germany and IAI Heron TP
05:22 – Roadmap: Weaponized drones when?
07:56 – Why is this such a big deal?
08:26 – Reason 1: USA Drone use
09:40 – Reason 2: ‘Killer robots’
10:21 – Reason 3: Big Questions No Answers
11:07 – Nato drone: AGS
11:48 – Politics, Elections and Politics
15:04 – Politics cont. Social Democrats (SPD) Edition
17:01 – Trust in the Army, Trust in Politicians
18:42 – What are we missing in the debate
21:40 – Defence against Drones: What is Germany doing?
23:31 – Recommendations for you (viewer)
25:23 – Outro

– Footage –
NATO, Department of Defence, Ministry of Defence Azerbaijan

#MilitaryAviationHistory #Drones #Germany


  1. Borce Ivanovski on May 22, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    Great debate!

  2. Grumpy Biker on May 22, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    Killing by drone is akin to poisoning, It’s the cowards way. UK

  3. afaq gul on May 22, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Great discussion…..
    there is no solution for which Germans can’t find a problem
    Stop kidding yourself, your population is on decline. You can’t loose a single soldier on the battlefield, you really can’t. It could take 18-25 years to replace him or her. Arm the freakin drones!!!!

  4. Venator on May 22, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    German politics are sometimes just so childish and laughable… Unfortunately this seems to happen more and more frequent to the point where the whole German system is just a joke…
    Unfortunately this joke may cost lives.
    Could be funny if it wasnt so frustrating and sad.

  5. Bac Burrito on May 22, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Germany is just paralysed by debate!

  6. LitlBlackDragonNinja on May 22, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Drones will get hacked and be used against the ones that are using them. I personally would not trust such systems when there is a big example for drone hijacking by supposedly inferior armored forces.

  7. mikexhotmail on May 22, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    A radio-controlled aircraft?

  8. Jeebus on May 22, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    12:35, Election, or Dominion erection?

  9. Richard Lacker on May 22, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Is it true that the German Navy does not have an operational submarine because the government refuses to fund spare parts?

  10. Cristi Tanase on May 22, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    "next coalition was the old coalition"
    German "election" the second butt joke "democracy" after the so called "US election".
    You do realize that you need term limits for coalitions, and politicians don’t you?
    What you got in Germany, and by extension what we got in EU is not democracy it is a complete perversion of democracy. The same people get to rule for decades at the time not because the people are satisfied by them but because they form a huge "coalition" of interest groups and cronies and join forces against the popular vote.

    And to illustrate this even more, just like the corrupted US "democracy" the Germany has the same media problem. Each corrupted election circle the media gravitates more and more into the hands of those in power until you barely can distinguish it from the state owned media.

    And this happens because "grand coalitions" do not allow for opposition forces, opposition voices and opposition ideas to ever stand a chance to win. Therefore who is the stupid to bet on those that stand no chance? Every media owner will stand with the "coalition" (actually we can call it the "feudal rulers at this point) and they will gain profit with siding with the powers to be.

    When will Germany dare to understand that democracy does not mean "grand coalitions" and secret talks where the public does not have access? Are we all waiting for another disaster to happen?

    We already have an unelected president of EU that dictates over us without a single electorate vote in her bag ever. Great job Germany, we’re on the same path to unlimited unchecked undemocratic rulers again.

  11. Carl Ewen-Lewis on May 22, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Speaking on the topic of PTSD and Drone Pilots, could it be linked to a parasocial phenomenon, something like but different from parasocial relationships that gets formed with viewers and social media creators?

    With regards to the drone debate, I think it does come down to trust.

  12. Toasty Ovens on May 22, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    is it me or the german iron cross symbol on anything makes it looks super badass?

  13. AGS 363 on May 22, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    It goes without saying, that this debate is manly between politicians, activists and journalists. The bigger public does not participate; the most people do not even know that it exist.

  14. S1nwar on May 22, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Wait, waaaait, this is all too fast. Fisrt we should debate on weather the maus gets a petro electric drive before we decide this!

  15. Hoodoo Texas on May 22, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    I am now convinced we need to invade Germany again and start all over…. 🙂 Just joking…

  16. asefrffgggt on May 22, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    I bet this has changed the last weeks.

  17. G020 on May 22, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Come on man as a german you’re really wondering why there is such a discussion? I’m a dutchie and I’m sick of people in the netherlands not being held responsible for racism. They think they are good people because “de moffen” are the bad guys responsible for the holocaust. Getting a good job here depends more on your name than your level of skill(mohammed or jan-klaas). In germany this would be considered discrimination, but in the netherlands we’re ignorant, we’re the good guys right? On the 5th of may we have a ceremony for all that died during WWII, but the killings in indonesia are removed from our history books. Our history books romanticise colonialism. We actually plundered countries and then fucked them for decades leaving then all of the sudden creating corrupt states and setting exchange rates so countries will always be poor relative to western society. All the wealth we have was robbed of them, sadly we’re running out of loot and we can finally see how capitalism is actually very reminiscent of colonialism but instead of western countries plundering other countries we now have multinationals plundering the lower 90% in our own western countries. Modern slavery is a fact, multinationals can hold countries at gunpoint without using violence, they will just flee to a tax-paradise country like the netherlands. But some people (USA and UK are pioneers) have to work 18 hours a day to just live and eat. We literally live in a state of fake freedom completely sucked into our phones. It’s fucking sad bruh, like really dystopian.

  18. Naum Rusomarov on May 22, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    this is indeed a very german drama.

  19. Hoss from Germany on May 22, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    We send our sons and daughts to a war zone and can’t give them the air suport they need. A drone can surport and save our
    Troops without endangering a Pilots life. Thats a good idea, or not ?. I’d send the politisians to the war zone
    , on the front line so they can fight the war . Shame on you germany. Totaly pathetic, idiots, all of those Politisions in Berlin.

  20. Milton Miller on May 22, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    Germany went from being a bellicose crazy country to being determined to be pacifist, and now it is just silly.

  21. Fred Midtgaard on May 22, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    She makes a lot of sense! Is this still a problem in Germany? Also after the Russian attack on Ukraine?

  22. Homefront on May 22, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    Where’s that train car again?

  23. katafrakt33 on May 22, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    I respect Miss Ulrike Franke. She’s conscious and has sharp mind. And is very sober thinking.

  24. Viktor László Kondor on May 22, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Hi guys.
    1. Technically: if you do not keep up, you get outdated in the current arms race.
    2. Germany is responsible politically for the Union, being the strongest guy aboard this ship.
    3. Fear and trust: The same allies of Germany, France as second in size, Holland, being the most liberal, Israel, as a political partner play the role of a compass. Not to get lost. But Germany has to stand up.

  25. ch pet on May 22, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Seems like a dumb thing to fight against when everyone else is going to do it.

  26. jerzy drwal on May 22, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    Germany doesn’t have armed drones because it does not border Russia. Has Poland to shield it from the hungry bear.
    False sense of security. To the point that it has no problem financing Russian military by building NS2 and buying more and more Russian gas.
    A wake up will be very pain-full.

  27. Vitaliy Juterbog on May 22, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    The moment there’s a real war, all of these philosophical issues will be tabled by need.

  28. FallenCookie on May 22, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    Happy now?

  29. Nikita Tarsov on May 22, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    A small ad on to reasons why many german politicans/people refuse drones for reasons of distrust: We allredy HAVE made the experience that allied commanders gave orders not fitting in our foreign mission laws, and was executed in anticipatory obedience(and/or the experience of GER commanders in charge what career-consequences it will have to not agree with even illegal orders from allies(the US, why not saying it)).

    We know, that our military is our military as long as there are no other orders comming from the US. This is part of the populistic mindset – and so reaches normal people – but also was based in multible occasions where out politicans have completley forgotten ther balls and ther duty to the german people/law.

    So there is a real point of this critique, even most partys don’t care for that – ther voters do. And also beside the fact our troops need and should have drones.

  30. nhw3030 on May 22, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Is this debate influenced by the war history, like maybe the terrifying V1 flying bomb? The experience on the other end of those, the buzz, the waiting, was very similar to today’s armed drones.

  31. pyron on May 22, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    if your neighbour is sharpening his knife you should sharpen yours as well

  32. Dogsoldier 1950 on May 22, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    At .48 these appear to be reactors with historic equipment. Ironic

  33. Sina AzarArya on May 22, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Germans are weird . when Iranian army introduced Kaman 22 we were happy .

  34. XYZ AERO on May 22, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    This entire debate is a sad indicator of how weak Germans have become. Germans worry more about PC and the wellbeing of illegals than about protecting their own country and culture !!

  35. Mhandisi Mobile on May 22, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    10:21…"Why do we even need the Bundeswehr anyway?" Well I guess Putin answered THAT question for you.

  36. John Ryan on May 22, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    I think there are plenty of countries in Europe and elsewhere that would be perfectly fine with Germany having no military whatsoever.

  37. John Pinner on May 22, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    German armed forces have become a joke

  38. MaximGhost on May 22, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Not sure what the debate is. If you don’t want humans to die or you don’t want to deal with the political optics of humans dying, then armed drones is your only viable solution.

    Anyway, the argument is moot now. Putin put an end to that.

  39. ALM on May 22, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    The feminization of Germany continues unchallenged.

  40. 0MoTheG on May 22, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Wait we have a problem with armed drones? We have a problem with drones in general. We own no MALE and EuroHawk failed.
    Arming the drones is not a priority as long as they can designate indirect fire.

  41. Talib Jalloh on May 22, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    This country does not want a military, they want to outsource their defence to US and France. They always look to the US to protect them and want to always develop weapons with France because they think it is too expensive to go it alone…The tough and ambitious Germans migrated to the US 70 yrs ago…

  42. flyblu80 on May 22, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    who knows why even Italy like Germany still does not produce armed drones. Italy also does not have a real aircraft carrier only vertical take-off. Italy has reached an agreement to be able to arm the drones in the made us inventory. but it has some very good drones made by leonardo for surveillance etc … so luckily we have developed in the times know how, and we developed a training drone. the hawk radar was also provided to the israelis (nothing special that the israelis can’t do). the turks have begun to lay the foundations for a drone but have also acquired specimens of drones produced by finmeccanica selex now leonardo since 2005.
    To arm them they must be modified in the wing load, and the control devices are made, the bombs are bought, fine.

  43. Om Shree on May 22, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    You are Germany, you used to be a technological, strategic mastermind….. What the hell happened?

    Did NATO make you complacent to a point where you can’t even talk about your military without having a completely unnecessary existential crisis?

    Responsibility involves accountability. If you don’t trust the accountability of your own military then I guess your time as a sovereign nation is up. I am not speaking from emotions, I am speaking from past experiences of my own country…..
    India was an ancient behemoth of a nation and we did what you are doing today….
    Allowed immigrants naively, didn’t maintain a strong administrative, strategic policy, because we were naive enough to think that money can solve all your problems…
    Later on, India was invaded by mughals, who were no match to our economic strength, no match to our social construct, they were absolute barbarians….. Look at where India is today. Do you want this to happen to you?

    Europe needs to see a spade for a spade .. you aren’t being liberal, you are being incompetent.
    Todays difference will tomorrow become fault lines of dividion.

    Kandahar, Taxila, these are all parte of ancient India… They are in Afghanistan today because our rich country(ancient India) went woke….

    Learn from our mistakes we made some 700 years ago. You are walking into the same damn trap.

  44. Evan Pfeffer on May 22, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Hmm ya why was Germany in Afghanistan

  45. Homefront on May 22, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    Does she need an American husband?

  46. KarasSteiger on May 22, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    Watching this video, as a German, after the Russian attack on Ukraine, and with the resulting 180°-turn of our government regarding investing in the Bundeswehr… I am very certain: the Bundeswehr will get armed drones (not just leasing them). 
    And on the topic in general: The Bundeswehr should have gotten armed drones sooner. Dornes become an ever increasing integral part of modern armed conflicts, so in order to keep up with our NATO allies, we should be able to deploy them. Further, I am sure our legislation would have, and will, prevent targeted killings, like the US is doing (so outside of armed conflict areas the Bundeswehr is involved in).

  47. William Davis on May 22, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    The idea of "renting" a drone is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.

    Does it come with insurance similar to car renters insurance? lol

  48. PanzerDave on May 22, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    Armed drones may help the Bundeswehr, and in particular the Luftwaffe, achieve readiness with a reduced budget. That alone may tip the balance in favor of armed drones.

  49. Nurgle Rider on May 22, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Dr. Frank brings up the topic of "trusting the soldier". I’d bet that it isn’t a question of trusting the soldier but trusting the decision makers in the upper levels of government who would be the most likely to bend or break any policies/laws regarding armed drone utilization. The use of weaponized drones is a VERY slippery slope and the German people are right to point out the US as the example of why you don’t want them. Sooner or later a politician or general will decide to use them illegally because it’s easier.

  50. Dan i on May 22, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    🤔 target bad guys without having to put your personal in harm, they are not killer robots. Wow the things you guys get hung up on. Article 4 is why, pretty sure if they attacked Germany the US would be right next to you to protect our collective way of western life. It needs protection like it or not, to wish it away wont work.

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