CIA Warily Watches For Threats To U.S. Now That 87 Nations Possess Drones

 

 

 

The age of the drone is here, and U.S. intelligence agencies are warily monitoring their proliferation around the globe.

China uses them to spy on Japan near disputed islands in AsiaTurkey uses them to eyeball Kurdish activity in northern IraqBolivia uses them to spot coca fields in the Andes. Iran reportedly has given them to Syria to monitor opposition rebels.

The U.S., Britain and Israel are the only nations to have fired missiles from remote-controlled drones, but the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles has become so prevalent that U.S. intelligence sources and private analysts say it is merely a matter of time before other countries use the technology.

People in Washington like to talk about this as if the supposed American monopoly on drones might end one day. Well, the monopoly ended years ago,” said Peter W. Singer, who heads the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution.

What’s worse, clandestine strikes carried out by Washington in far-flung corners of the world have set a precedent that could be ugly.”