The spread of drones has been a source of major concern all around the world from the US to the Middle East to China, raising several questions, the first of which is: Will the “drone revolution” alter the shape of conventional war around the world, and why do some people believe that no one can control this new arms race?
As a concept, drones are one of the most advanced means of warfare, which explains why it is gaining traction and evolving day after day.
Drones reduce the lives lost in war as well as the financial cost, in the sense that they do not require a pilot and squadrons could be operated by a group of personnel from a far corner of the earth.
From a military point of view, armies now prefer this type of attack drone, because of its ability to hit targets from high altitudes, easily and accurately, according to its specific preprogramming, and if it is shot down, it constitutes a loss far less significant than the loss of a conventional warplane.
Furthermore, drones have proven their efficiency on various battlefields in Libya, Syria, the Nagorno-Karabakh region (between Azerbaijan and Armenia), and finally Ukraine.
This type of aircraft is a product of artificial intelligence, and its development has no limit, in addition, it is versatile and has civilian uses, from photography to shipment delivery as well as help in fighting fires.
Furthermore, this aircraft, which was the tip of the spear in confronting terrorism during the era of former US president Barack Obama has now become one of the preferred weapons for various terrorist groups, as it has become easy for individuals and different groups to acquire them, and even to manufacture some of their models, especially suicide drones.
Terrorist groups realized that improvements made to military vehicles made them invulnerable to explosives planted on the ground, while drones can help remedy the situation for them, given that they can buy low-cost drones before modifying and improving them, turning them into lethal weapons.
This trend started back in 2016, when ISIS used cheap and commercially available drones to drop hand grenades on the patrols of the international coalition, in addition, Houthi militia in Yemen used drones to threaten the Yemeni interior and the rest of the Arab Gulf region and maritime navigation.
The fact is that the world is facing an unprecedented challenge that is the purview of weak armies and extremist militias and with little technical creativity and disregard for collateral damage, these parties can use drones to compensate for their limited technical abilities, which are often very expensive.
Furthermore, observers’ biggest fear is that there will be more terrifying future chapters, especially if these drones carried unconventional, chemical, biological, or even nuclear devices.