Use of Drones by the United States Military for Surveillance Purposes

The United States military has been known to use drones for surveillance purposes. In more recent years, drones have started to be used in foreign countries to target people that have been branded as terrorist leaders. “Drone” is the widely-used nickname used for an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV. Put simply, a drone is a miniature plane that is controlled from a distance like a child’s remote controlled airplane.

The UAVS can be rigged with cameras to do practically unnoticeable surveillance or they can be rigged with weapons, such as small bombs or missiles, to take out people in a way that they would never see coming.

The main countries they have been used in so far are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Iraq, respectively.

There are many different opinions about whether drones are acceptable to use or not. For surveillance purposes, they are seen as helpful because they can help get a close up picture of what is going on in an area.

The footage taken by a drone can show the military whether or not it is necessary for them to go into an area. If they do decide to go into the area viewed, it can give them an exact picture of where they are going and who or what they are up against.

When it comes to attacks, the biggest positive aspect of using drones is that fewer American soldiers have to be put in dangerous situations and therefore more get to come home safe. The drones make flight crews unnecessary since they are unmanned and controlled from a distance.

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They also make it unnecessary for troops to be sent in to possible hostile areas to take out the terrorist leaders.

Drones are also cheaper to make than much of the larger military equipment, so in the long run it could potentially save the United States money. On the flip side, surveillance using the drones can be seen as highly intrusive and inappropriate. Americans would not want to be spied on by another country, so it should not be okay for the United States military to use the drones to spy on others. As for attack drones, one of the largest problems is that when they drop the bombs or missiles on their target, that area gets obliterated and anybody who is in the area at the time of the explosion will be killed.

Whether full of innocent people or not, if there is a good shot of killing a known terrorist leader, the military will likely take it. Another setback of drones is that they can only be airborne for a certain amount of time, about 18 hours. Although they can be controlled from about 7,000 miles away, the launch site must be somewhere near where the drone is going to be sent or the drone won’t be in the air long enough to do any good.

There are many different variations that fall between the two extremes, and my opinion lies within there. The surveillance drones are extremely useful. And even though spying on other countries is immoral, if the drones can save time, money, and people by preventing the military from sending in troops to unnecessary places, then it is worth it. As for bombing foreign countries, I have a firm belief that taking the lives of other human beings, especially completely innocent ones, is never an okay thing to do. Life should not be taken lightly and no life should be taken away unnecessarily. Since the drone attacks have started, at least four American citizens along with thousands of foreigners have been killed.

Those lost American lives have sparked more conversation about whether or not the drones should be used. If Americans get outraged about one of their innocents being killed by a drone, then they should be outraged about all of the other countries’ innocents that have been killed, too. Especially since with every unnecessary life that is taken by a United States drone attack, more U.S. enemies are being created which could potentially lead to more terrorists against the them. Besides, soldiers become soldiers for a reason. They enlist in the military because they want to fight and risk their lives for their country, so let them do their jobs.

The only time that attack drones should be used is as a last resort in special situations where the threat toward innocent lives is realistic, provable, and large. A current example of this is with the Islamic State, or ISIS. They are a group of radicals that is executing people for not sharing their beliefs. When a group of extremists is killing the amount of people they are, it becomes a numbers game. Would more innocents die from the United States leaving the situation alone, sending in troops, or attempting to end it with a few bombs? In the case of ISIS, it has reached the point where the radicals need to be stopped and it is justifiable for the U.S. to use drones to take them out as long as they are smart about where they drop them, i.e. not in largely populated areas.

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Use of Drones by the United States Military for Surveillance Purposes. (2023, May 17). Retrieved from

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