The way proponents talk about them, you’d think Zeus gifted drones straight from his backpack. Alternatively, you might also believe that drones herald the age of robotic, soulless warfare and are evil in their very nature.
We’re watching the renewed drone debate this week, much of which is focused on whether drones are legal and justified — a critical discussion to have, but there’s another one, which is how the use of drones can be made more responsible in the immediate term.
Drones aren’t magical. Any weapon system is only as effective as how it’s used. In that spirit, we offer here some practical steps Washington could immediately take to help drones meet President Obama’s criteria from his May speech, when he said, “Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured — the highest standard we can set.”