The recent Iranian shootdown of an American RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone has underlined the escalating tension between U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf. It also shows how ubiquitous and necessary unmanned aerial vehicles have become for America’s military missions. Yet the U.S. may cede the future of these large UAVs to competitors such as China, Russia and, ironically, Iran, if we don’t change how we develop and deploy these systems.
The media has trained Americans to think of military drones primarily as tools for…
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