Today, America's armed forces aren't known for its aircraft carriers, fighter jets, tanks or guns – it's known for its drones. Whether they be Predators, Reapers, Global Hawks or something that takes up slightly less headline space, the US use of drones has been the single most identifying feature of America's military in the past several years.
Despite the notoriety that's come from America's drone use, though, at least one analyst believes we should be dumping money into drones, rather than withdrawing it, as the Pentagon has done following its latest Quadrennial Defense Review. A full 15 percent of the country's Reaper and Predator fleets are to be cut, with the Pentagon claiming the funds can be better appropriated towards preventing future crisis.
Paul Scharre is the Director of the 20YY Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security, and he makes a compelling case for increased investment in drones by US armed forces, citing the need for affordable, constant monitoring of suspected terrorists.
The entire piece, including what Scharre thinks can be done to reduce costs without slashing the drone fleets, is available at Defense One, and is really worth a read.