How drones have come to dominate the battlefield | Counting the Cost

How drones have come to dominate the battlefield | Counting the Cost

Unmanned ariel vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have come a long way since their introduction in the first Gulf War in 1991. At the time, they were used just for surveillance and intelligence gathering.

A decade later, a Predator drone fitted with a missile was used by the CIA in an attempt to kill Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

And almost 10 years on from that failed attempt, the assassination of Iran’s Qassem Soleimani became the first time a senior military figure has been killed on foreign soil.

Drones mean troops do not have to deploy into hostile territory, therefore saving lives. Still, there have been many civilian casualties. Under former President Barack Obama, the number of drone attacks rose to 563 from 57 under George W Bush. More than 800 innocent civilians were killed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

The drone business is a growing industry. According to defence analysts Teal Group, spending on research, development and procurement is expected to rise to $14.3bn by 2029, up nearly 30 percent from $11.1bn this year.

The United States is by far the biggest spender on drones. In its 2018 budget, almost $7bn was set aside for research and development and buying drones.

Despite the US high spending on drone technology, much less expensive technology has been used to great effect. The US and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for an attack on Aramco oilfields that wiped out half the country’s oil production.

China makes a rival to the MQ9 Reaper for the export market, and it is said to cost half the price of the US system. The aircraft has been used by the Iraqi military in attacks on the ISIL (ISIS) group. And Turkey has become the first to attach a machinegun to drone to protect military convoys. And that is not all, they have been flying autonomous drones that can find, track and kill.

But it is not just nations like Israel, Iran and Pakistan that have used drones to target people. Non-state actors ISIL and PKK have used drones in attacks too, drones you can buy from Amazon.

Justin Bronk, a research fellow for Airpower and Technology at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), tells Al Jazeera that the use of remotely piloted drones is an extremely efficient way to provide surveillance and attack options over long periods of time in permissive airspaces.

“The basic technology behind creating something that flies as a remotely flown drone with weapons capability is not particularly challenging so we’re seeing China is, in fact, one of the biggest exporters now of armed drones,” Bronk explains.

Has Putin been good for Russia’s economy?
Russian President Vladimir Putin crushed the hopes of potential acolytes with plans to rewrite the constitution to beef up the power of parliament. After 20 years in power, Putin’s proposed constitutional changes would enable him to grab power after he steps down.

With the constitutional reform, Putin could extend his ability to rule indefinitely. But what of his economic record? Has he delivered for the Russian people?

Charles Robertson, the global chief economist at Russian bank Renaissance Capital, says Putin did an “incredible job” in the first decade or so, helped by rising oil prices.

“When he inherited power, Russia was the size of Belgium, as an economy, and very rapidly, it became the size of the Netherlands and then became even bigger as a top 10 economy now with low inflation, and decent enough growth but people often forget about Russian demographics and forget to strip out the population growth numbers,” Robertson says.

He adds: “Actually it’s doing not that differently from China on a per capita basis for GDP at the moment, or India for that matter.”

Economic cost of coronavirus
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China continues to rise. Beijing has extended the Lunar New Year holiday and businesses shut down to curb the spread of the virus.

A total of 18 cities in central Hubei province now have some sort of travel restrictions affecting 56 million people and authorities are rushing to build a hospital to accommodate 1,000 beds to treat victims.

Now the virus has spread beyond neighbouring countries to Australia, Canada, France and the US.

And just when the Chinese authorities hoped the economy would begin to pick up after signing a phase one trade deal with the US, it is already having to count the cost of yet another outbreak after the SARS crisis.

Patrick Perret-Green, head of global macroeconomic strategy at AdMacro, explains: “We’re only just beginning to appreciate the wider effects. We’re talking about unprecedented action. Major cities being shut down, business enterprises being closed until at least February 9.”

He later adds: “Chinese tourism is another area where we are going t- Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
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50 Comments

  1. Bego Menge on October 2, 2021 at 7:50 am

    long live putin

  2. jascam1 on October 2, 2021 at 7:51 am

    The West continue its winning ways; the dividing up of Africa and the Middle East by the European colonist. Now with the use of drone warfare and its proxies; Egypt, UAE, Saudi and Israel the West will continue to keep the Muslim world and Africa from uniting.

  3. Bantu qvax on October 2, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Why all experts from London?

  4. Nana Njiki on October 2, 2021 at 7:55 am

    They speak and preached virtue but pratice vice …mad world

  5. Phongy 401 on October 2, 2021 at 7:55 am

    invention of drones are murders ?

  6. Gary Wright on October 2, 2021 at 7:55 am

    All these warmongers are riding high .Getting rich and thinking that they are the cream. What their false pride and bravado didn’t let them see is that an unstable and upset peace makes them. The shot callers the main targets for retaliation. I saw alot of bullying in my life. I have seen many high minded persons get ganged up upon . Because they are hated.I think the word was ."What goes around , comes around ."

  7. Harry Fire on October 2, 2021 at 7:56 am

    6:00 you need a satellite link guided drone

  8. JEWELLS Arafat on October 2, 2021 at 7:58 am

    HAMDAN MAKTOUM BETTER KNOWN AS FAZZA BORN IN THE UAE DUBAI MY LEFT FOOT AND ANKLE IS HURTING ME REALLY SERIOUSLY MY RIGHT LEG HAS STARTED TO HURT REALLY SERIOUSLY TOO, MY HUSBAND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS DANGEROUS THEY SHOOT INNOCENT WOMEN LIKE I YOUR WOMAN YOUR WIFE SO HUSBAND I AM GOING ON TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY OF NEXT WEEK TO GET MY PASSPORT I GOING HOME TO OUR ASIANS PENINSULA TO SINGAPORE WHERE GRANDFATHER LEE KUAN YEW RAISED ME
    BABYGIRL JEWELLS

  9. John Smith on October 2, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Keeps those Muslim leaders under control knowing a crosshair is on them at any time.
    That Iranian General still does not even know he is dead yet I bet and his replacement is a nervous wreck.

  10. Silverstone78 on October 2, 2021 at 7:59 am

    So smart now you can kill 9-5 and still make it home for dinner with the family.. almost ptsd free. Shoot first think later.
    The world is so f….. up.
    message to the 1% weapons investors …”why don’t you kill yourself”

  11. jimmi hotdog on October 2, 2021 at 8:03 am

    USA Sanction loved by all countries esp.. Iran and Germany

  12. eymeera osaka on October 2, 2021 at 8:03 am

    As usual…instead of finding solutions to the problem, you use this platform to criticise Pres Xi and China. Please, China don’t have a patent on pandemic. People are dying everyday in China. The authorities are doing their best to contain the virus from spreading to the rest of the world. And yet you focus on demonising China. This is really disgusting. Is Pres Trump or the US system of government perfect? Or any government for that matter. What about the HINI flu pandemic in the US in 2008? It killed roughly 300,000 people worldwide. Infected millions and spread to what, 70 countries? Has anyone heard of it? Or did anyone blame the US?

  13. Shams LLB on October 2, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Masters of drones is Israel

  14. Dean Mann on October 2, 2021 at 8:04 am

    shukeel C iran picked the wrong Drone.what about the one that vaperioused karmarnie

  15. Sanjay Kumar on October 2, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Un 🤦‍♂😷🙈🙉🙊🤒Human Rights, human riots listen pronounce joke u 😕 RTI( if need enquiry) in India roadside looking satellite latest technology seen, explain it govt pm, Delhi govt CM, mess 👆 non cour sework journalists

  16. DwynePen on October 2, 2021 at 8:07 am

    Why did the original guy that invented the drone get murdered ?

  17. Adan Ahmed on October 2, 2021 at 8:08 am

    The world will be in peace when there are no cockroaches hungry to oppress others are not there anymore.

  18. Rockymountain Rockhound on October 2, 2021 at 8:11 am

    Drone huntung drones is what we need instead of guns?

  19. Abraham Tsfaye on October 2, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Why does this channel AJE always bring on these mediocre white male ‘experts’. There is a lot of people out there whose knowledge can add more to understanding.

  20. kale dai on October 2, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Why not attact yankees bases in iraq with coronavirus filled rockets????🤣🤣🤣

  21. Robert Garcia on October 2, 2021 at 8:13 am

    The united states have been in the drone business for over 20 years and now they have stealth drones…that will be flying as wi ng man wh the f22 and f35

  22. Larkinchance on October 2, 2021 at 8:14 am

    In the next major war, troops will rarely meet on the battle field. For 20 years, Afghanistan has served as a drone laboratory for general use against individuals, assets and civilian populations. Top Gun pilots will find themselves
    obsolete because they will not be trusted with a 50 billion dollar jet fighter. This is just the beginning a robotic transformation. Kids playing video games are actually in training…

  23. Kyekye Eminah on October 2, 2021 at 8:14 am

    I’m very happy fakenews Al Jazeera are now admitting that Putin has made Russia very strong economically. It’s telling that even with the sanctions, the Russian economy has actually grown in the last year. Most impressive is the fact that their Reserves are much more than their debt, a result of Putin paying off all Russian debt to the IMF. Unemployment is also less than 5% which is very impressive. I can’t actually believe Al Jazeera is saying the truth for once. The world was made to believe Putin was robbing the country even when they had no evidence. Now they’re telling the truth for once.🤔🤣😆😁

  24. Jubayrul Kabir on October 2, 2021 at 8:15 am

    USA is a terrorist country and largest murderer innocence people in the world.

  25. Domingo De Anda on October 2, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Corona virus will be over soon.

  26. iva taiwan on October 2, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Russia is not iran or north korea.russia very rich country by natural resources

  27. Ticked Off Sheikh on October 2, 2021 at 8:20 am

    I hope to make my own drone soon.

  28. Delon Thomas on October 2, 2021 at 8:21 am

    A virus been release to slow the Chinese’s economy because they are the world leaders in tech and they are fast growing in world influence the west hates china because they are the big giants

  29. Tafa Defi on October 2, 2021 at 8:22 am

    I understand Somalia and Yemen well, that they can’t do much, but what I don’t get is Pakistan. Pakistan has weapons that can attack the military base operating this drone and kill all that is in and round the bases…

  30. zapfanzapfan on October 2, 2021 at 8:23 am

    "Stalinization"… that’s reassuring…

  31. eddemian on October 2, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Actually you are lying. Israel sold armed drones to Azerbaijan. In fact, their salespeople demonstrated their drone live on the 18 year old children guarding the border, injuring several. War crimes for money.

  32. Abass Tia on October 2, 2021 at 8:26 am

    World will be peace without U S , Israel, ISIS, Alqaida,and Boku Haram those mentioned above are Horrible killing n killing innocents people God is watching them all the day of accountability is coming the day that Allah (God) will assemble mankind’s that’s day will be the day of justice the day of truth that day the wicked people will know that God (Allah) is INDEPENDENT justice shall be done there is no doubt about that what we need to do is peace and love no killing n killing innocents people

  33. YESSIR on October 2, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Turkish drones are one of the best

  34. F355 on October 2, 2021 at 8:26 am

    how come it is not particularly hard to build drones, yet there are 5 countries manufacturing this technology: USA, China, Russia, Israel, Turkey. So other countries don’t feel the need?

  35. I’m the captain Now on October 2, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Why are we asking about military technology to a high school kid

  36. Сергей Шилов on October 2, 2021 at 8:26 am

    thea now see high tech coronoillness too. high tech camasutra abusement ha ha ha. maria knows cama. cama now knows thea and thaia. peoples camasutra abusement ayayai. high tech ayayai is aiaiai too. thea and thaia molodec. mahadeva molodec. smally smally littly littly earth space and universes babies and children are all studients to be molodec. hi hi high top school.

  37. Timothy Seeger on October 2, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Last month the brave US service members drone struck a TALIBAN leader killing 60 and wounding up to 100, when you bomb women and children it’s not the battlefield but the weddings, family gatherings , and even their funerals you are terrorising.

  38. Cleverson Santos on October 2, 2021 at 8:30 am

    The biggest problem of Russia is USA, the Americans have been trying to boycote the Russians for a long time, and they have succeded… take away the sanctions and Russia will grow again… USA made a very clever move, support the Ulranians and then they had the right to impose sanctions on Russia, when Ukrain will realise that it has been used as a tool for the west…

  39. Phongy 401 on October 2, 2021 at 8:31 am

    time to gun down any drone … iran did right …. any drone flying must be shot down

  40. Nima Ramon on October 2, 2021 at 8:32 am

    Iran builds best practical drones on earth

  41. Jermane Lawrence on October 2, 2021 at 8:33 am

    🌎 ✌ asap tired a di 👻 dem

  42. Shukeel C on October 2, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Iran also hacked and landed the RQ170 Sentinel stealth drone, the most expensive American drone which cost billions to develop.

  43. Frank Mill on October 2, 2021 at 8:36 am

    WITH DRONES THEY BUY OFF AMAZON

  44. Boyd Gilbreath on October 2, 2021 at 8:37 am

    USA build at great cost and just park somewhereexpensive, obsloete war planes all types , just to profit the arms companies. Most of these expensive planes don’t operate and would need overhauling before being airworthy. USA is most corrupt country on earth. trumpy!

  45. JEWELLS Arafat on October 2, 2021 at 8:38 am

    HAMDAN MAKTOUM BETTER KNOWN AS FAZZA I SEE CLEARLY WHEN ARE YOU ARRIVING TO COLLECT WHAT’S BELONG TO YOU? OH GOODNESS I WILL RETURN TO SLEEP NOW.
    MY HUSBAND OH ALLAH I AM TRAVEL HOME TO OUR ASIANS PENINSULA TO SINGAPORE
    BABYGIRL
    JEWELLS YEW MAKTOUM

  46. pure mathematics on October 2, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Only Iran can stop USA ….

  47. Mujhtaba A. on October 2, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Maybe this is how the bronze age civilisation collapsed? Perhaps a disease that wiped out it’s complex economy

  48. tuns afun on October 2, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Flying IED for isis doesn’t sound good

  49. Reality on October 2, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Stop 🛑 this killing and war .. we the people want peace ✌🏿

  50. TheKeithvidz on October 2, 2021 at 8:48 am

    barac and trump murder the most by drone.

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