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  • August 14th, 2015

Drone proliferation in the war against Islamic State

Daniel Schwartz writing for CBC News catalogues the increasing use of drones against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and previews three books that address drone proliferation and the era of remote warfare. (“One year on, drone attacks against ISIS increasing“, CBC News 8 August 2015).

Drones appear to have an expanding role in the fight against Islamic State, although it’s unclear what direct impact they are having on the war itself.

The author of the forthcoming book Drones: What Everyone Needs to Know, Sarah Kreps, advises that drones should be deployed as part of a broader strategy, something the U.S. and its allies including Canada seem to be lacking in their war against Islamic State. British academic Paul Rogers believes that Islamic State is able to adapt pretty rapidly to this level of air war, noting they still retain a strong hold on power and continue to make gains in Syria despite very heavy use of drones by coalition forces. In his forthcoming book Irregular War: Islamic State and Revolts from the Margins, Rogers says:

We’re right at the start of the proliferation of drones and since there are no arms control measures at all to handle them [their use] is more or less unlimited.

Ann Rogers, a professor at Royal Roads University and author of the 2014 book, Unmanned: Drone Warfare and Global Securityhighlights the huge human toll wreaked by drones in conflict zones other than Iraq and Syria:

In other theatres where drones have been used extensively, there have been huge social, economic and psychological problems created for the [local] population, and … these wars don’t end with a clear victory, they end with a damaged and fragmented society.

And with respect to the coalition effort against Islamic State, she concludes that all air power has done is to enable the U.S. and its allies to continue the war without success but also without tangible losses by the allies.

Read the full article here: “One year on, drone attacks against ISIS increasing”. (CBC news , 8 August 2015)
Image credit: MarsRover

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