It's true mein schatze - drones are all the rage!
"...Imagine a future, for example, in which military power comes in large part from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cyber-attack capabilities and advanced robotics..."
Thinking bout that Attack of the Baby Carriers future sea borne battlefield with hundreds of flying robots sweetly engaged in deadly missions - like on both sides!
Taiwan has announced ambitious plans for at least two types of killer drones to supplement its aging manned fighter fleet. China, meanwhile, is working on a wide range of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV); the Japanese navy spotted a small, apparently ship-launched drone over a Chinese fleet this summerGenau! Totally true other nation states have began sexing up their very own drone fleets - for now - right now - das Drone Krieg Zukunf - is kinda mythic
Myth 1: Drones will be a threat to the United States in the hands of other nations. Drones are surveillance and counter-terrorism tools; they are not effective weapons of conventional warfare. The unmanned aerial vehicles are slow and extremely vulnerable to even basic air defense systems, illustrated by the fact that a U.S. surveillance drone was shot down by a 1970s-era MIG-25 Soviet fighter over Iraq in 2002. Moreover, drones are dependent on constant telemetry signals from their ground controllers to remain in flight. Such signals can be easily jammed or disrupted, causing the drone to fall from the sky. It's even possible that a party sending stronger signals could take control of the drone. The drones, therefore, have limited usefulness. And certainly any drone flying over the U.S. while being controlled by a foreign nation could be easily detected and either destroyed or captured.
Myth 2: Terrorists could effectively use drones to strike targets that are otherwise safe. Though it would be preferable if terrorist groups did not acquire drones, the technology required to support them is not particularly advanced. If organizations such as Al Qaeda were intent on acquiring the technology, they probably could. One of the reasons Al Qaeda may not have spent the time and resources necessary to do so is that drones would be of limited value. In addition to being very vulnerable to even basic air defense systems, drones require a great deal of logistical support. They have to be launched, recovered and controlled from a reasonably large and secure permanent facility. Wherever Al Qaeda's drones landed would immediately become a target.
It is true that a small, hand-launched drone capable of delivering a small warhead over a reasonably short distance could be, like radio-controlled model airplanes, launched in a public park or other open area and flown to a target several miles away. However, the amount of explosives that such a drone can carry is very limited (at most a few pounds) and pales in comparison to the amount of explosives that can be delivered by a vehicle or even a suicide bomber. It seems likely that terrorist groups will continue to deliver their explosives by vehicle or suicide bomber.
Myth 3: The U.S. use of drones in cases such as the Awlaki killing in Yemen serves to legitimize their use by China or Russia. International law places the same restrictions on the use of drones that it places on any other use of military force. The U.S. used a drone on Yemeni territory to kill Awlaki because it was given permission to do so by the Yemeni government, and because Awlaki was an active member of an Al Qaeda affiliate who had repeatedly been involved in operations designed to kill Americans at home and abroad. With such permission, the U.S. could instead have employed special forces or a conventional airstrike.
It is important to recognize drones for what they are: slow, relatively low-tech anti-terrorism tools that would be of limited use on most modern battlefields and are particularly unsuited to use by terrorist organizations.
Pic - "Drone Wars? Not Quite"