> our title:

The Dangers of Worldwide Drone Proliferation

> original title:

A World of Proliferated Drones: A Technology Primer

(Source: Center for a New American Century; issued June 10, 2015)


While U.S. drone strikes have captured public attention, the United States does not have a monopoly on drones. Over 90 countries and non-state actors operate drones today, including at least 30 that operate or are developing armed drones.

This global proliferation raises a number of challenging security issues.  Are states more likely to engage in cross-border surveillance missions or attacks with drones than with manned systems? Are states more willing to shoot down a drone, since there is no one on board? If one nation shoots down another nation’s drone, is that an act of war?

The answers to these questions hinge not principally on the technology itself, but on the ways in which states and non-state actors will use drones and how they will perceive their use by themselves and others. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) project A World of Proliferated Drones, a joint undertaking of the 20YY Warfare Initiative and the Technology and National Security Program, will examine these issues through a series of reports and war games engaging international audiences. Understanding and anticipating the likely contours of a drone-saturated world will help the U.S. government take steps today to influence, as best it can, a future landscape that is most conducive to American interests.

In support of this objective, “A World of Proliferated Drones” will examine the challenges arising from this new strategic landscape and seek to provide policy options that the United States and its allies and partners could adopt in the near term to successfully manage these challenges.

The report examines the proliferation of drones to states, non-state actors, and individuals. The report also outlines the various types of drones and what capabilities each enables, as well as the security implications – from cross-border operations to overmatch against U.S. forces – of a drone-saturated world.


Click here for the full report (40 PDF pages) on the CNAS website.

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