Drones unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVs) and violation of citizen’s privacy constitutional rights
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS) 3-9
History of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS) Technology 4-5
Current Trends in the Usage of Drones 5-6
Classification of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) 6-9
Benefits Associated With the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) 9-12
Drones and Domestic Security 9-10
Drones and Terrorism 10-11
History of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS) Technology 11-12
Issues Associated With the Usage of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) 12-15
Drones and Privacy 12-13
Drones and Excessive Collateral Damage
Drones and Psychological Impact on the Operators 13-14
Drones and Psychological Impacts on the Civilians 14-15
Research Methodology & #8230; 15-19
Theoretical Framework 16-18
Research Design 18-19
Literature Review 19-27
Current Trends in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Technology 20-21
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market 21
6.3 Current Issues Legislations in the United States of America Regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems
(UAS) & #8230;. 21-24
6.4 Use of Drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq 24-25
6.5 Drones and Collateral Damage 25-26
6.6 Drones and the Psychology of the Enemy Combatants 26-27
7. Data and Analysis 27-38
7.1 Effectiveness of Drones in Combating Terrorism and in Degrading the Terrorist Organizations 27-30
7.2 Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems and Border Surveillance and Security & #8230;. 30-31
7.3 Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the Threat to Privacy 31-32
7.4 Drones and the Collateral Damage 32-34
7.5 Impact of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) on the Civilians Living in the Affected Areas & #8230;34-37
7.6 Impact of Unmanned Aerial Systems on the Psychology of Drone Operators 37-38
8. Conclusions and Recommendations. 38-43
8.1 Conclusions 38-41
8.2 Recommendations & #8230;. 42-43
Drones Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS) and Violation of Citizen’s Privacy Constitutional Rights
The research paper aims to assess the fact that how the development of technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (UAVs) has improved the government’s objective of defying and countering terrorist attacks inside and outside the United States, but still affecting citizen’s privacy constitutional rights?
1.1. Statement of the Problem
The use and deployment of UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for attack missions in a military theater and surveillance in an active combat environment as well as domestic surveillance operations has been a topic racked with controversy. This subject, not only involves the ethical use of such new technology, but also a myriad of military battlefield, moral, psychological and privacy in domestic deployment situations. It can be wrongly used to violate the citizen’s constitutional rights to privacy and unfair government involvement in non-violent or criminal domestic affairs to the use of such technology. This paper will examine the controversy at hand and examine the validity of these arguments regarding the concerns of privacy of citizens and international organizations and military.
2. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS)
According to a forecast made by the Drones Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS) industry, the worldwide expenditure on the market for the government and commercial usage of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) would rise to $89.1 billion by the end of this decade. Out of this amount, that is $89.1 billion, $28.5 billion would be spent on the research and development field and remaining $60.6 billion would be used on the acquisition of this technology. The military of the United States of America will be the major driver of growth in this market. According to the forecasters, the growth of this market heavily depends on the legislations and regulations that ensure the safe use and integration of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS) in the airspace system. (Dillingham 2012, 2)
The past decade has seen some rapid advancement in the military technology. In the past, the countries which initiated wars had to take into consideration the fact that their own patriotic soldiers and commandos would be killed. But now it is possible for the countries, that posses the appropriate technology, to get rid of the individuals that pose threats in relation to their economy and national integrity, without the fear of retaliation. The past century has witnessed an increase in the use of the UAV technology, but only the United States of America, Israel and United Kingdom are reported to have used it till now. The other nations, are reported to have acquired this technology for military and battlefield surveillance and some nations are reported to have procured the armed version of this technology. (Birch, Lee, & Pierscionek 2012, 1-11)
2.1. History of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVS) Technology
Drones were first used in the year 1973 in the ‘Yom Kippur’ war by Israel. These were U.S. made drones and were used to draw the fire from the missiles. Israel later developed more advanced drones that are capable of capturing a video footage of the battlefield. In addition to that, drones were also used in the first ‘Gulf War’ in the years 1990 and 1991 for the purpose of surveillance and intelligence gathering. The UAV or Drone technology was also used in Kosovo, in the year 1999, for the same purposes. (Birch, Lee, & Pierscionek 2012, 1-11)
Before the attacks of September 11, the United States Air Force started experimenting with armed drones. In the year 2001, a missile named ‘Helfire’ was fired from a Predator drone. The missile was being fired at a stationary target and it was a successful experiment. In the same year, a predator drone operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was used for the first time to assassinate Mohammed Atif, who was a terrorist and a well-known leader of Al Qaeda. (Birch, Lee, & Pierscionek 2012, 1-11)
Today about seventy five countries are estimated to possess Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or Drones. Out of which the United States of America has used this technology across many countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq. Israel, on the other hand, has been reported of using armed drones in the state of Gaza. The United Kingdom has also used these drones in Afghanistan in the year 2007. (Birch, Lee, & Pierscionek 2012, 1-11)
2.2. Current Trends in the Usage of Drones
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be defined as aircrafts that are being controlled by an operator and do not require a pilot to stay on board to control them. These Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, when combine with the ground stations and various data links, are said to form the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can have a great variety in terms of size and capacity. For example, some of the UAVs may have a wing span, which is similar and equal to the Boeing 737, whereas, the others might be smaller than a radio controlled model airplanes. (Cavoukian 2012, 3)
Previously, the use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) was limited to the military purposes but with the advancements in technology these tools are now used for the purpose of domestic surveillance and public research as well. (Remy, Senouci, Jan, & Gourhan 2013, 1)
Though, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are generally associated with military operations but they are also used by domestic law enforcement agencies for the purpose of domestic surveillance. In addition to that, there has been an increase in the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by the private sector. The increase in the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by organizations other than military is due to the decreasing cost associated with the UAV technology. In addition to that, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are more effective and advantageous than the manned aerial vehicles. (Cavoukian 2012, 3)
2.3. Classification of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be divided into three main categories on the basis of their specifications namely; micro and mini UAVs, tactical UAVs, and strategic UAVs. . (Cavoukian 2012, 6) on the basis of their operations the drones can be divided into two categories namely; surveillance drones and armed drones. (Birch, Lee, & Pierscionek 2012, 1-11). All these categories are described in detail in the following section.
a. Micro and Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
They are considered as the smallest Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. They usually fly at a very low altitude or height. This height is usually below three hundred metres. This category usually consists of vehicles that can fly inside halls. These Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) consist of video recorders, voice recorders and radio transmitters etcetera. Micro UAVs weigh less than a hundred grams and they are smaller than mini UAVs. Mini UAVs usually weigh less than thirty kilograms and they fly at an altitude that lies between one hundred and fifty to three hundred metres. Both, micro and mini UAVs, are generally used in civil and commercial operations. (Cavoukian 2012, 6)
b. Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Tactical UAVs are heavier than micro and mini UAVS. Their weight lies between one hundred and fifty to fifteen hundred kilograms. They fly at an altitude ranging between three thousand to eight thousand metres. Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), currently, are generally used to support military applications and operations. This category can further be divided into six subgroups namely; short-range, medium range, long-range, close range, endurance, Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The long-range UAVs are technologically more advanced as they use satellites in order to overcome the communication problem between the UAVs and the ground stations. This communication problem is generally caused by the curvature of the earth. The medium, short and close range UAVs can operate in limited space majorly because of the lack of satellite communication systems. The Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) can be used for forty hours at a distance greater than three thousand kilo metres. They can also be used to fire precision guided missiles. An example of the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) is ‘Predator’. (Cavoukian 2012, 6)
c. Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
With the increase in altitude the weight, flight range and endurance of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) also increase. The heaviest Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, today, are the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAVs. These UAVs have a takeoff weight of up to twelve thousand kilograms. They can fly at a maximum altitude of twenty thousand metres. These are designed to carry sophisticated, larger and heavier equipments. A well-known and sophisticated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle belonging to this category is ‘The military UAV Global Hawk’. It has an endurance of about thirty five hours. The example of non-military High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) is Helios. It is operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Helios provides power to the electronically driven propellers by the use of solar panels and it has set the record breaking altitude limit of thirty thousand metres. The general functions performed by the Helios UAV include, observation of earth, atmospheric analysis and mapping. (Cavoukian 2012, 7)
d. Surveillance Drones
Most of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles consist of or employ video cameras that can transfer images and video footages to the ground stations. With the passage of time these surveillance drones have become cheaper and more sophisticated. They can capture images at great distances and have a higher camera resolution as well. Some surveillance UAVs are or can be equipped with sensor cameras. An example of sensor cameras is ‘forward-looking infrared camera’. Such a camera can detect infrared radiations that are being emitted from a source, usually a heat source. These cameras can then create a picture of the source assembled with the video footage which is then transmitted to the ground stations. In addition to that, with the help of advanced video analytics, artificial intelligence can be applied to the procedure of collecting and processing considerable amount of video data. This technology is combined with the facial recognition software and this combination is then used to track individuals in public and in even in private as well. It can track individuals even through windows and walls. (Cavoukian 2012, 7)
e. Armed Drones
Armed drones are the pilotless or remotely operated devices that work on the basis of an installed program or software or are operated by various ground stations. These devices are used in army or military operations. They are used to kill people who are identified as terrorists by the government or any other intelligence agency. (Kutyreva 2013, 1)
3. Benefits Associated With the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
There are a number of benefits associated with the use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). In the homeland security, they provide assistance to the domestic law enforcement and security agencies to have a better control over the law and order conditions of the nation. In addition to that, with the help of this technology the law enforcement agencies are able to handle the threats to the domestic or homeland security in a better way. (Tom 2013, 1-2). In relation to terrorism, these UAVs help us in better combating the terrorist attacks. The Unmanned Aerial system has now been adopted as a weapon of choice by the military and the intelligence agencies of the United States of America to target and kill the terrorists and other extremists in locations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan etcetera. (Pedrozo 2011, 218). Apart from that, Drones also have reduced the ability of the terrorist organizations to operate effectively by having a negative impact on their psychology as they are at a threat of being killed by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and they are aware of the fact that they always remain under close surveillance. (Smith et al. 2013, 315-316)
3.1. Drones and Domestic Security
Drones have been utilized internationally and domestically in the current era. In the domestic area, drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being employed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to quickly respond to the domestic threats. They are also being utilized to effectively tackle the national security threats and national emergencies. In addition to that, the drone fleet of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the United States of America also assists the law enforcement agencies in relation to the proper and effective enforcements of laws and rules across the nation. (Tom 2013, 1-2)
3.2. Drones and Terrorism
The procurement of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has increased greatly in various western economies, especially in the United States of America. The United States of America has used this technology in different locations such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. (Strawser 2010, 1) the drones are now excessively being used in the ‘war against terrorism’. Between the years 2000 and 2008, the number of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) that were being used in the Department of Defense (DOD) of the United States of America increased from under fifty thousand to somewhere above sixty thousand. In the year 2009, the flight hours that the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) undertook were four hundred and fifty thousand and in the year 2010 this number exceeded five hundred and fifty thousand. In the year 2008, the number of aerial attacks conducted by the United States of America was thirty six and in the year 2010, this number exceeded one hundred and fifty. (Pedrozo 2011, 218)
Over the past ten years, Drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have become an essential tool in combating terrorism and in fighting against a large number of militants. Drones have a number of advantages over other weapons and they have proved out to be more effective in the war against terrorism. They can silently observe militants and terrorist groups for a large period of time and then they can attack immediately as and when they get the opportunity. Another advantage of using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is that they can perform all these functions without putting a pilot at risk. The combination of all these capabilities is very unique and it has given the United States of America an evident competitive advantage over the terrorist groups. The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have enabled the United States of America to effectively combat terrorism and with the help of this technology the United States of America has degraded the Al Qaeda group and has been able to get a hold over a number of other terrorist organizations as well. (Zenko 2013, 2)
3.3. Drones and the Psychology of Military Combatants
The United States of America started using the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) with the objective of killing the terrorists and militants and reducing the ability of the terrorist groups to indulge in unethical, unlawful and hazardous activities. The drone attacks impair the terrorist organizations and this technology reduces the ability of these organizations to operate effectively and to produce successful results. They have a negative impact on the psychology of the terrorist organizations as the drone strikes are usually targeted towards killing the leaders of Al Qaeda, therefore, when the leaders are being killed this have a negative impact on the psychology of the subordinates and hence they are not able to perform their tasks effectively. The death of the leaders of the terrorist organizations has a negative impact on both, the quality and the quantity, of the operations that are being performed by them. (Smith et al. 2013, 315-316)
In addition to that, when the terrorist organizations know that they are operating under continuous surveillance and are at a threat of being attacked by the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) then they are not able to easily get the resources, both physical and human, that are being required to perform a task effectively. Apart from that, as these organizations feel the threat of attack, they cannot transmit their messages from one place to another with ease. By attacking the terrorist organizations through Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), which are both more effective and more precise, the United States of America is having a negative impact on the psychology of the enemy combatants and hence it is being able to reduce the level of threat that is being posed to the nation by these organizations. (Smith et al. 2013, 315-316)
4. Issues Associated With the Use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
Even though, the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have proved out to be quite effective in the war against terrorism but there are certain issues and controversies in relation to their use. The major issue related to the use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for the purpose of domestic security is the violence of the privacy and the constitutional rights of the citizens of the United States of America. (Dolan, & Thompson 2013, 12). In addition to that the excessive collateral damage caused by the drone strikes is also a potential issue related with the use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), as, for every terrorist killed by the drone strikes, a number of innocent people also die, this stands as a strong argument against the drone strikes that are being conducted by the United States of America. (Etzioni 2013, 2) Apart from that, the use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) also has a negative and destructive impact on the psychology of the people who operate these machines. (Parkes 2013, 1-4). Moreover, Drone strikes have a negative impact on the psychology and the mental health of the people who are living under the areas that are affected by drone strikes. (Living Under Drones 2012, 7)
4.1. Drones and Privacy
The major issue that is related to the integration of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the domestic air space of the United States of America is that this technology might be used to spy over the citizens of the United States of America and this might threaten the privacy and constitutional rights of the citizens. With the use of technology such as infrared, sensor cameras, facial recognition and video analytics, it is an established fact that the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) pose an immediate threat to the privacy of the citizens when they are used for domestic surveillance. The Government’s use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), with the application of a number of restrictions, is legal according to the fourth amendment, but there are chances that Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) might be used illegally by non-government actors and may violate the privacy rights of the people. (Dolan, & Thompson 2013, 12)
4.2. Drones and Excessive Collateral Damage
The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) causes excessive collateral damage. For every terrorist killed in an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) strike, many innocent people, including women and children are killed as well. The studies and researches which were carried out state that the majority of people killed in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) attacks are civilians. Different ratios have been given by different people regarding collateral damage caused by drones. For example, the American counterterrorism officials put the amount of civilians killed in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) attacks as low as 2.5% and former military officials David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum stated that for every terrorist killed in an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) strike, 50 civilians are killed. Therefore there are no possible ways of settling these differences. (Etzioni 2013, 2)
4.3. Drones and Psychological Impacts on Operators
In 2011, a study was carried out in order to find out the psychological impacts on those who operate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The result of this study stated that most of the psychological impacts were due to long working hours and difficulties in using the equipment and geographical location of work. The predator/reaper operators had higher emotional exhaustion and lower cynicism as compared to non-combatants. Another study stated that stress in operators was due to operational reasons rather than continual exposure to war scenes. It also revealed that active duty operators suffered more than those who work in shifts. (Parkes 2013, 1-4)
4.4. Drones and Psychological Impacts on Civilians
The Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) strikes have various damaging effects on the psychology of the people. (Living Under Drones 2012, 7) Some of them are listed below;
a) Impact on Willingness to Rescue Victims
Sometimes, there are two Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) strikes; the first one killing the targeted people and the second killing those who have come to their rescue. This prevents neighbors from rescuing the victims. This double attack is usually referred to as ‘double tap’ and it has a negative impact on the humanitarian instincts of both, the bystanders and the rescue workers, therefore, they resist helping the wounded people. (Living Under Drones 2012, 74)
b) Impact on Economic Status
Most of the people living in the areas that are the victims of drone strikes have to suffer unpleasant financial hardships. These strikes usually destroy the infrastructure of the attacked area. They destroy the houses of innocent civilians and sometimes the innocent people killed by the drone strikes are the sole bread earners of their family and hence after their death the family has to bear many financial hardships. (Living Under Drones 2012, 77)
c) Other Impacts
The drone strikes also have adverse effects on the mental health of the people. In addition to that these strikes deteriorate the educational opportunities and cultural and religious practices of the affected area. Moreover, due to the drone attacks the people of the affected community do not trust each other. They become dubious of the affiliations of their neighbors and they resist in making good relations with each other. (Living Under Drones 2012, 80-99)
5. Research Methodology
Research methodology means ‘overall approach and perspective’ of a research and involves considering the following main points:
1. Reason for collection of data,
2. Type of data collected,
3. Sources of data,
4. Method of collecting data, and
5. Methods of analyzing the collected data. (Neville 2007, 5)
This part of the paper explains and discusses the process and method by which the entire research was conducted. The data used, sources from where data was taken, methods used to analyze the data and convert it into useful information and methods used to conclude on attained set of information. The research approach used was based majorly on gathering and analyzing extensive background data. All the important research questions were identified in the initial parts of the research and research is designed to effectively answer all the questions in the end and meet the research objectives.
Limitations of conducting the research include the following:
1. Unavailability of accurate data,
2. Data collected might be irrelevant, and
3. Data collected might be obsolete and not updated.
The above limitations were considered throughout the research design and conducting phase. The limitations were also considered while designing the most effective research methodology and defining the theoretical framework for the research.
The most important aspect of this part was to come up to an effective and efficient research design that will lead to the conclusions that can easily answer the research questions stated in the beginning of the research.
5.1. Theoretical Framework
Primary research is based on collecting first hand information and not using the work of others. It involves using questionnaires, interviews, etc. To collect data and then analyze the collected data on the basis of some identified method.
The difficulties faced while using primary method of information gathering and collecting include unavailability of the accurate sample of participants, wrong or vague answers or contributions by the participants, hesitation of the participants, time constraints (as it will take a lot of time to complete the phase of data collection), etc..
The benefits of this type of research include correct, accurate and exact data suitable for the purpose (aim ) of the research which can answer the reseach questions effectively, data collected is updated (to the date of the research) etc.
Secondary research is based on using the work of others, to deduce important data from their work and conclude your research on the basis of secondary data (work of others). Secondary sources of data include books, already published articles (newspaper, web-based or others), literary works, scientific publications, journals, etc.
The disadvantages of this type of research is availability of extensive irrelevant data, data might not be updated and timely, etc. On the other hand, this type of research is easy to conduct and less time consuming as a huge database of work done on the research topic is available on internet or published in the form of books, journals etc.
The research will be conducted using the secondary method for information gathering. Secondary data will mainly be collected from the internet from publicly available sources, research conducted from books, magazines, other publicly available publications, and research conducted by the Open Source Center which is available to members of the U.S. government.
Furthermore, the data gathered from various secondary sources will be properly evaluated to filter out any irrelevant data. It is important to use only relevant data because this will increase the accuracy and appropriateness of the conducted research. Moreover, the biggest backdrop of using only secondary method of research is the availability of a huge database including a lot of obsolete and irrelevant data. In order to fight this disadvantage (or limitation) a huge set of data sources will be used and properly evaluated to gather the most appropriate set of data in order to accurately answer the research question.
By analyzing the available information we will attempt to evaluate the true impact of the widespread utilization of drones in the combat environment. Further, the research also concludes on how to best implement the widespread introduction of UAV technologies in the domestic airspace while following and complying with the governmental legislations, rules and regulations and guidelines to prevent the unlawful use and abuse of the technology by the government and private parties. Illegal usage of this widespread technology includes illegal citizen surveillance, conducting drone air strikes on domestic soil, or other potentially dangerous purposes.
5.2. Research Design
Research is designed considering the research topic and research question. Two methods of conducting the research and analyzing the data collected through the secondary method of data collection explained above include quantitative method and Qualitative method.
Qualitative research is the type of research that focuses on the quality of information collected and uses qualitative methods to gain an understanding of the research questions and data gathered in this regard. ‘Qualitative research provides an insight into the setting of problem, generating ideas and/or hypotheses.’ (Macdonald, & Headlam 2011, 8)
Another method of conducting a research can be quantitative method, under which the data and information collected is quantified. This type of research answers questions like how many, how much, how long how far etc. (Macdonald, & Headlam 2011, 8)
Qualitative research is more subjective in nature than Quantitative research and involves examining and reflecting on the less tangible aspects of a research subject, e.g. values, attitudes, perceptions. Although this type of research can be easier to start, it can often be difficult to interpret and present the findings; the findings can also be challenged more easily.
The aim of quantitative research is to explain in detail the observations (data and information gathered as a result of the research) in order to interpret and understand the research perspectives. This type of research is unstructured as compared to the structured quantitative research (in the form of tables, percentages, numbers, etc.). (Macdonald, & Headlam 2011, 9)
The paper will focus exclusively in the qualitative analysis of available literature and research to best determine the state of the UAV industry and its possible future, how to best address the current technological limitations, high civilian casualties of air strikes involving drones, and a working framework for the proliferation of UAV use in the domestic front for commercial as well as governmental uses.
Thus, it can be said that in this paper the ideas presented by peers and other scholars on the drone technology, UAV industry its past, present and future, benefits and disadvantages, costs and issues, legislations, laws and regulations governing the usage of this technology, and control in terrorism and other unlawful purposes made easy by this technology, are analyzed and evaluated qualitatively. Qualitative analysis include considering the basis of the idea and points raised and then conclude whether they are true in the given set of circumstances and scenario.
Moreover, qualitative analysis means commenting on the perceptions and perspectives of others and are more subjective. Therefore, the conclusions reached as a result of the research conducted are more subjective. Thus, these can be challenged by anyone at any time (having a different point-of-view and seeing the things in other light).
6. Literature Review
According to the scholars and experts there is no general definition of a UAV, but Air Cdre Neville Parton stated two essential characteristics of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, ‘The first two of these are, quite obviously, that the vehicle should be without a human occupant and reliant on aerodynamic lift or buoyancy to remain airborne.’ (Torpy, Parton, Goulter, Jordan, Wilkins, McMahon, Mardell, & Cox 2009, 7). Whereas, the Department of Defense of the United States of America has defined Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as, ‘powered, aerial vehicles that do not carry a human operator, use aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.’ (Bone, & Bolkcom 2003, 1).
6.1. Current Trends in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Technology
The Unmanned Aerial Systems are used for a number of purposes in the present era. Nicholas Cranston highlighted a number of uses of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). According to him, ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly used for both civilian and military purposes. They can be remote controlled or fly autonomously on a pre-programmed flight plans. Militarily they are used for reconnaissance and attack. In the civilian world they are used in a variety of safety related roles, from fire-fighting to crowd surveillance. Intriguing progress also lies in the expectation that within a few years, UAVs could be used even more widely for telecommunications, law enforcement, environmental patrol and many other tasks.’ (Cranston 2008, 1)
Apart from that, there has been an increase in the procurement of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by various countries. According to a study conducted by the UK Defense Forum, ‘More than 40 countries worldwide are currently developing and/or deploying UAV systems. Development in this field has been earmarked as one of the most sort after technologies in the industry. In the military market alone, the U.S. budget for UAVs exceeded $1 billion back in 2003.’ (Cranston 2008, 1). In addition to that ‘The Teal Group’ also predicted that ‘UAV spending to more than double over the next decade from the current worldwide level of $3.4 billion annually to $7.3 billion.’ (Cranston 2008, 1)
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States of America compared ‘the current state of UAVs to that of personal computers in their earlier years before technological advancement made operating systems more user friendly.’ (Cranston 2008, 1). The defense officials, at a Farnborough Air Show, agreed that there would massive development in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) industry. They said that, ‘the UAV market is about to explode, just as the market for satellites did in the 1970s.’ (Cranston 2008, 1)
6.2. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Market
According to various experts the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology has been regarded as, ‘the most dynamic growth sector of the aerospace industry in this decade’ (Cavoukian 2012, 3). Regarding the market conditions of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) the Teal Group predicted that, ‘UAV research and development and procurement was U.S. $6 billion in 2011. This figure is expected to double in the next 10 years (see chart below and note that this figure does not include unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV).’ (Cavoukian 2012, 3)
Despite this rapid development, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) confronts some barriers. According to Ann Cavoukian, ‘Market barriers for civil and commercial applications include: Incomplete or immature air space regulations that encompass UAV systems; Liability for civil operations; No secure non-military frequencies; Negative consumer perception; Lack of operator training/safety standards; Limited payload capacity and space restrictions.’ (Cavoukian 2012, 3-4)
6.3. Current Issues Legislations in the United States of America Regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
According to Chairman Goodlatte, ‘While there are many useful applications for UAS, there are also many reasons to be concerned about the privacy implications of UAS. Unchecked law enforcement use of UAS could lead to violations of U.S. citizens’ Constitutional rights. Overly aggressive bureaucrats behind the controls of UAS could lead to an expansion of the federal government’s footprint, harassment and serious violations of privacy.’ (Villasenor, McNeal, Maclin, & Calabrese 2013, 1).
a) the Fourth Amendment
There are a number of issues regarding the use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) which are being addressed by various legislations. The foremost issue regarding the procurement of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is the violation of privacy and to address this issue the government of the United States of America has framed the ‘Fourth Amendment’. The fourth amendment states that the, ‘right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.’ (Villasenor, McNeal, Maclin, & Calabrese 2013, 4). But According to Richard M. Thompson, who is a legislative attorney, ‘The Fourth Amendment does not apply to all government acts, but only to those that constitute a search. So when does government monitoring constitute a Fourth Amendment “search” for which a warrant is generally required? Initially, the court’s assessment focused on the specific area being investigated.’ (Thompson 2013, 4)
b) Chicago Convention
Every state is responsible for the security of its air space, the Chicago convention was framed on the basis of the preceding principle. There are various articles in this convention that regulate and govern the operations of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. These articles include ‘Article 8’, which states that, ‘No aircraft capable of being flown without a pilot shall be flown without a pilot over the territory of a contracting State without special authorization by that State and in accordance with the terms of such authorization. Each contracting State undertakes to ensure that the flight of such aircraft without a pilot in regions open to civil aircraft shall be controlled as to obviate danger to civil aircraft.’ (Peterson 2005, 42) in addition to that ‘Article 3’ of the Chicago Convention states that, ‘Chicago Convention is not applicable to state aircraft, military operations of a UAV/ROA may have to integrate into the civilian airspace of the NAS, which is heavily governed by ICAO directives.’ (Peterson 2005, 44)
Apart from Aricle 8 and 3, ‘Article 12’ of this convention is also directly applicable to the UAVs. It states that, ‘Each contracting State undertakes to adopt measures to insure that every aircraft flying over or maneuvering within its territory and that every aircraft carrying its nationality mark, wherever such aircraft may be, shall comply with the rules and regulations relating to the flight and maneuver of aircraft there in force. Each contracting State undertakes to keep its own regulations in this respect uniform, to the greatest possible extent, with those established from time to time under this Convention. Over high seas, the rules in force shall be those established under this Convention. Each contracting State undertakes to insure the prosecution of all persons violating the regulations applicable.’ (Peterson 2005, 45)
In addition to that, ‘Article 17, Nationality of Aircraft, and Article 20, Display of Marks, Article 32, Licenses of Personnel, Article 33, Recognition of Certificates and Licenses and Article 36, Photographic Apparatus, which states that, Each contracting State may prohibit or regulate the use of photographic apparatus in aircraft over its territory.’ are also applicable to the deployment of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). (Peterson 2005, 46-47)
c) Federal Aviation Regulations
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, ‘For all aviation activities in the United States, activities by personnel licensed or certified by the United States, and for aircraft registered in the United States, the governing regulations are promulgated by the FAA in the Federal Aviation Regulations (“FARs”), which make up parts 1 through 199 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”), and the TSA in Title 49 parts 1500 through 1699 of the CFR. They provide the national implementing requirements for registration, airworthiness certification, licensing of personnel, and rules of the air.’ (Peterson 2005, 64)
6.4. Use of Drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq
According to Kalyvas, ‘UAVs enable incumbents to remotely collect intelligence as well as target terrorists. Drones were initially developed for intelligence collection, not for targeting terrorists; when the U.S. military first deployed drones to Bosnia in 1995, the fleet was dedicated to surveillance and reconnaissance. Armed strikes were not used until after the U.S. post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan. Drones can loiter for long periods of time without incurring risk to a pilot, making them ideal tools for monitoring suspicious activities and tracking known suspects.’ (Johnston, & Sarbahi 2013, 7)
According to Johnston and Sarbahi, ‘drone strikes in an area are a meaningful indication of an increased security risk to militants operating in that area. The increased risk associated with continuing to operate there should apply to any type of militant activity that is vulnerable to drone capabilities, which conducting attacks are, regardless of whether militants would otherwise conduct operations at their average” rate and level of lethality, or if they would otherwise escalate the frequency and lethality of their operations to deter potential defectors’ (Johnston, & Sarbahi 2013, 8)
According to a study conducted by the University of California, regarding the impact of United States drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, ‘drone strikes are negatively associated with various measures of militant violence, both within individual FATA agencies and their immediate neighborhood. There is also evidence to suggest that the negative association between drone strikes and three measures of militant violence, incidents, lethality and IED attacks, changes sign as we increase the neighborhood radius to exceed 125 kilometers.’ (Johnston, & Sarbahi 2013, 26-27)
6.5. Drones and Collateral Damage
The government sources reporting the collateral damage of the drone strikes give a very low estimate of the destruction caused by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. According to a recent report of the ‘New York Times’, ‘the Obama administration considers “all military-age males [killed] in a strike zone” to be “combatants . . . unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.’ (Living Under Drones 2012, 33). According to a study conducted by the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, ‘The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike. The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration, shrapnel, and the release of powerful blast waves capable of crushing internal organs. Those who do survive drone strikes often suffer disfiguring burns and shrapnel wounds, limb amputations, as well as vision and hearing loss.’ (Living Under Drones 2012, 33)
According to Idrees Farid, who was an eye witness of the drone strike that were conducted in Pakistan on March 17, 2011, ‘funerals for the victims of the March 17 strike were odd and different than before.The community had to collect [the victims’] body pieces and bones and then bury them like that, doing their best to identify the pieces and the body parts so that the relatives at the funeral would be satisfied they had the right parts of the body and the right person.’ (Living Under Drones 2012, 61). According to the same study, the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic stated that, ‘The precise number of people who died in the March 17, 2011 strike has never been determined, though nearly all available sources — including the survivors with whom our researchers spoke — put it at close to 40 or higher. An independent investigation by the Associated Press put the number at 42.’ (Living Under Drones 2012, 62)
6.6. Drones and Border Surveillance
According to Congress Research Services, ‘UAVs have also been used in domestic settings. The NASA-sponsored Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program has produced civilian UAVs to monitor pollution and measure ozone levels. Academia has also been active in exploring civilian uses for UAVs. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is involved in developing Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and video camera guidance for locating and identifying toxic substances.The Department of Energy recently announced that it will test UAVs outfitted with radiation sensors to detect potential nuclear reactor accidents.’ (Bolkcom 2005, 1). According to Christopher Bolkcom, who is a Specialist in National Defense Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, patrol agents use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) because, ‘UAVs is that they could fill a gap in current border surveillance. In particular, technical capabilities of UAVs could improve coverage along remote sections of the U.S. borders. Electro-Optical (EO) sensors (cameras) can identify an object the size of a milk carton from an altitude of 60,000 feet.12 UAV’s also can provide precise and real-time imagery to a ground control operator, who would then disseminate that information so that informed decisions regarding the deployment of border patrol agents can be made quickly.’ (Bolkcom 2005, 3).
6.7. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and the Psychology of Military Combatants
According to some scholars, ‘the strikes are among the most effective counterterrorism tactics at states disposal, helping to dismantle al Qa’ida terrorist networks’ (Johnston, & Sarbahi 2013, 5). According to Johnston, & Sarbahi, ‘drone strikes erode militants ability to exercise sovereign control over local areas. Even if an insurgent or terrorist organization is the only armed actor on the ground, as they often are in FATA, the greater the threat from above, the more costly it is for the militants to exercise de facto control in that area.’ (Johnston, & Sarbahi 2013, 7). It has also been indicated by the same researchers that, ‘the heightened security risks drone strikes impose create an incentive for risk aversion among senior-level militants, which implies that in the wake of drone strikes, militant organizations are increasingly likely to rely more heavily on junior-level operatives with less experience than their senior counterparts. The constant surveillance, and potential targeting, erodes the operational capabilities of militant organization by forcing them to increasingly rely on junior-level operatives and by limiting communications within the organization, especially between different levels of the militant hierarchy.’ (Johnston, & Sarbahi 2013, 9-10)
7. Data and Analysis
This section analyses the impacts of drone strikes and the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on the terrorist organizations and their ability to strike, border security, civilians, privacy and drone operators. It critically analyses the effectiveness, the potential benefits and the threats associated with the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).
7.1. Effectiveness of Drones in Combatting Terrorism and in Degrading the Terrorist Organizations
Drones have been observed to be excessively efficient in killing High Value Targets (HVTs) at locations that cannot be accessed easily by manned vehicles. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in targeting the terrorist also diminishes the risk or threat of loosing a pilot, which is always there in case of manned vehicles. The defense secretary of the United States of America (USA), regarded drones as being precise and very effective in killing the leaders of various terrorist organizations. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the drone strikes have made it impossible for the terrorist organizations to operate safely in locations like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen. According to the government officials of the United States of America, drones are one of the most effective tools of targeting and killing the leaders of terrorist organizations in inaccessible locations. In addition to that, no evident opposition can be observed against the drone strikes in the United States of America, even among the strongest opponents of President in the Republican Party. (Boyle 2013, 3-4)
The drone strikes have been extremely effective in targeting the leaders of the terrorist organizations, such as Baitullah Mehsud. The target killing of the leaders of these organizations leads toward the weakening of the structure of the terrorist organizations. It deteriorates the quality of their operations. (Boyle 2013, 3-4) as the senior leadership is effectively being targeted and killed by the drone strikes, therefore, the planning and organization of various activities are disrupted and hence the control of these organizations over an area or various areas diminishes or decreases. The killing of the leaders also has a negative impact on the morale of the subordinates or the younger soldiers. It has been reported by a study, which was being conducted by University of California and RAND Corporation, that there is a negative relationship between drone strikes and terrorist activities, that is an increase in the drone strikes leads towards a decrease in the terrorist activities. It has also been reported by the same study that the drone strikes in a particular area say, Pakistan or Afghanistan, also have a negative impact on the terrorist activities in the immediate neighborhood of that country. But this impact changes as the radius is extended beyond one hundred and twenty five kilometers. (Johnston, & Sarbahi, 4)
In addition to that, the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has been able to put evident pressure on the terrorist organizations. Moreover, it has also degraded their ability to perform effectively and has had a negative impact on the psychology of the members of the terrorist organizations. The drone strikes have been reported to have a negative impact on the constituents of the terrorist organizations. Due to such attacks the terrorist organizations begin to weaken and lose one of their finest recruits and they finally collapse. There has been sufficient information regarding the fact that the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), make it harder for the enemy combatants to operate in the affected area. In addition to that, due to the drone attacks the military combatants have to move constantly from one location to another. This constant movement makes it almost impossible for them to train new combatants and to plan further operations and activities. In the writings of Osama bin Laden, which were being discovered after his death, he has recommended the troops of Al Qaeda to flee to Waziristan and to protect themselves from the drone strikes and to avoid them. (Boyle 2013, 10-11)
Apart from that, the cost and benefit analysis of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in relation to manned vehicles establishes the fact that the drone strikes are both, more effective and more precise, when compared to other weapons. The deployment of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is less expensive when compared to other weapons and manned vehicles. In addition to that, the human loss associated with the ground operations and the manned aerial systems is much larger than that associated with the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), this is because the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) strikes are more precise in killing the target than the ground soldiers and the Air Force. (Boyle 2013, 12-13)
7.2. Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems and Border Surveillance and Security
Border security has been an important consideration of Congress in the United States of America. The borders of the United States of America are secured and monitored by a number of tools including, video cameras, motion and ground sensors, land vehicles, manned aerial vehicles and physical barriers. But the additional threats to the security and national integrity of the United States of America, by the terrorist organizations, have persuaded the patrol agents to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for security and surveillance of the borders. (Bolkcom 2005, 2)
There are many potential benefits associated with the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for border surveillance. Firstly, they can fill up the gap that exists in the current border surveillance of the United States of America as they can get an access to remote areas, which is not possible for the land and manned air vehicles. In addition to that, UAVs have the ability of identifying of an object as small as a milk carton from an altitude of about sixty thousand feet. Moreover, they can immediately transfer real time images to the ground station operators and these operators can further disseminate this information so that timely and effective decisions can be made regarding the allocation of patrol agents and border security. In addition to that, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, named ‘Predator B’, which is being used along the southern border of the United States of America, can fly continuously for about thirty hours without a need to refuel. This flight time is much greater than that of helicopters, which is only two hours. The greater flight time of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is very advantageous for border security as these vehicles can provide greater coverage and surveillance over an area and hence can enhance the border security of the United States of America. (Haddal, & Gertler 2010, 3)
Secondly, the extensive range of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is a characteristic that makes them superior and better than the border patrol agents and land and manned aerial vehicles. If a potential terrorist tries to enter the borders of the United States of America through woods or some other inaccessible area, then there is a great probability that the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which are equipped with thermal detection sensors, will detect him. But the stationary video cameras that are generally equipped at the borders might not be able to detect him. The extensive range and endurance of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, can help in reducing the burden that is being implemented on the human resource or the patrol agents who are being deployed at the borders of the United States of America. Apart from that, the accidents faced by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), do not pose a risk to the lives of the pilots as those faced by helicopters generally do. (Haddal, & Gertler 2010, 3-4)
7.3. Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the Threat to Privacy
One of the major issues in relation to the use of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for the purpose of domestic surveillance is the violation of the privacy of the citizens of the United States of America. The excessive developments in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology have raised many issues regarding the violation of the privacy of the citizens. The unique ways in which the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) collect information and the advanced equipments that they employ pose an immediate threat to the privacy. John Villasenor, who is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) collect varied information from our mobile phones and smart meters. And this information will soon become the record, digital one, of everything that we do. (Cavoukian 2012, 11)
The tapping of a suspect’s phone due for security purposes is not an extreme violation of privacy as the tapped phone lines do not show the images of the interior of the house. But with the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) collecting information, the privacy of both the suspect and other members of the family can be violated. The Unmanned Aerial Systems can hover in the backyard of a suspect’s house and can take pictures of the suspect and his family members or with the present advancements, they can hide inside the house of the suspect and monitor the suspect and his family members continuously. Such continuous surveillance can lead towards the capturing of pictures that are unethical. Pictures can be captured, when the suspect or his family members are in the state of undress. The government and the intelligence officials, even if they have the warrants, do not have any right to view such pictures and to violate the privacy of the citizens and keep track of all their activities without their knowledge. (Villasenor 2013, 498)
7.4. Drones and the Collateral Damage
The government of the United States of America never discloses the exact amount of collateral damage, to the media and the general public, that is being caused by the drone strikes in the distant and the ungoverned tribal areas. Neither the advocates nor the critics of the drone strikes know the exact number of individuals and innocent citizens that die because of the drone strikes that are being conducted by the United States of America. According to the data collected by the New America Foundation, the number of civilian casualties, between the years 2004 to 2012, ranges between 1886 to 3191. This means that an average number of 5.6 to 9.5 people died due to a single drone strike. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) conducted its own research and compiled data regarding the deaths caused by the drone strikes that were being conducted in Pakistan. According to this data, a total number of three hundred and forty six strikes were aimed at Pakistan during the time period ranging between 2004 to 2012. Due to these drone strikes the civilian casualties ranged between 2570 to 3337. This represents an average number of 7.4 to 9.6 individuals were killed as a result of these strikes. Apart from that, the data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) also stated that about 1,232 to 1,366 Pakistani citizens were injured due to these drone strikes. (Boyle 2013, 5)
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) also indicated that in Yemen about forty to fifty drone strikes were conducted by the United States of America from the year 2002 to 2012. The deaths caused by these drone strikes ranged between 357 to 1026. Apart from that, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) reported that in Somalia about three to nine drone strikes were conducted and the resulting deaths from these strikes ranged between 58 to 170. (Boyle 2013, 5)
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) also stated that out of all the deaths caused by drone strikes in Pakistan, the number of civilian deaths ranged between sixteen to twenty five percent. In Yemen, the number of civilian casualties was reported to be sixteen percent of the total death toll. In Somalia, these causalities range between seven to thirty four percent of the total death toll. The drone strikes conducted by the United States of America cause a great deal of collateral damage and thousands of innocent citizens are killed due to these strikes. It has been reported by a number of studies that for every terrorist, who is being targeted by the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), approximately fifty civilians die. (Boyle 2013, 6)
7.5. Impact of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) on the Civilians Living in the Affected Areas
A study conducted by the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (IHRCRC), examined various psychological impacts of the drone strikes on the civilians who live in the areas that are being affected by these strikes. Some of the major impacts are listed below; (Living Under the Drones 2012, 73)
a) Impacts on the Humanitarian Instincts to Help and Rescue the Victims
It has been reported by a number of studies that the United States of America repeatedly indulge in a practice which is referred to as ‘double tap’. According to this the first strike by the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is aimed at the target and when the people gather around the affected area to help the victims that are being injured by the strike, another strike is conducted which is aimed at rescue workers and the civilians who are trying to help the individuals. When the people affected were being interviewed by the researchers they stated that they are very well aware of the second strike that accompanies the first strike and hence they resist in helping the victims of the first strike. In addition to that, most of the NGOs and the rescue agencies have prohibited their workers from going near the affected area for at least six hours after the first drone strike. (Living Under the Drones 2012, 74)
b) Impact on the Property and the financial Status of the Residents of the affected Area
Most of the people who are being interviewed by the employees of the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (IHRCRC) stated that, they have to suffer severe economic crisis and financial problems due to the damage that is being caused by the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The drone strikes destroy their properties and kill the sole bread earners of the family. In addition to that, the medical expenses that are to be incurred on the victims of these strikes are also very high and lead toward economic hardship. These medical bills can have a destructive and long-term impact on the financial conditions of the family members of the victim. The government of the United States of America, on the other hand, has not taken any step to help the innocent families that are being attacked by the drone strikes, which are conducted by the United States of America. (Living Under the Drones 2012, 79)
c) Impacts on the Mental Health of the Residents of the affected Area
According to the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (IHRCRC), the people living in the areas that are affected by the drone strikes harbor the feelings of stress and fear. These people described the sound, which is being made by the drone strike, as a ‘wave of terror’. They stated that the fact that they live under continuous surveillance and the threat of being killed by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is terrifying. All the people, including the old, the women and the children are terrified of these drone attacks and they live a stressful life due these attacks. The interviewees also indicated that the fact that they are powerless and helpless and cannot do anything to stop these attacks increase the level of their psychological stress. In addition to that, the feeling and fear of losing their loved ones also elevate the level of their emotional stress. Moreover, the victims of the strike or those who have witnessed the strike continuously suffer from the psychological problems of anxiety and fear. (Living Under the Drones 2012, 81-82)
d) Impact on the Educational Opportunities for the Residents of the Affected Area
The study conducted by the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (IHRCRC) indicated that the residents of the area affected by the drone strikes suffer from the problem of reduced educational opportunities. Those who become the victims of strikes are not able to continue their studies due to the adverse financial, physical and psychological impacts of the strikes. In addition to that, most of the families pull their children out of the school to look after the family members who are being injured by the drone strikes. Moreover, the students are not able to complete their studies because they have to work and earn money in order to compensate for the income loss that has occurred due to the death of the sole bread earner of the family because of the drone strikes. An interviewee told the researchers that he pulled his children out of the school after watching the tattered body pieces of the students who were being killed by a drone strike. (Living Under the Drones 2012, 88-89)
e) Impact on Attending Funerals and Burial Activities
It has been reported by a number of studies that the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) target the funerals and the areas where the people gather to perform burial rituals of the victims of the drone strikes. The study conducted by the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (IHRCRC) indicated that, the residents of the affected community stated that they resist attending the funerals of the victims because they were afraid of being targeted by the drone strike. In addition to that, the interviewees also said that the bodies of the people who are being attacked by the drone strikes are usually tattered into pieces and cannot be identified easily; therefore, it is not possible for them to perform traditional burial rituals. (Living Under the Drones 2012, 92-93)
f) Impact on Community Trust
According to the researchers of the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (IHRCRC), the people living in the areas affected by the drone strikes indicated that, the drone strikes have harbored a feeling of mistrust among the members of the community. These people believe that the intelligence agencies plant micro chips in their vehicles and houses to track their movements and activities and to target them by the drone strikes. The neighbors mistrust each other and think of each other as the spy or intelligence agents of the United States of America. They think that their own neighbors and the members of their own community will plant micro chips in their houses and vehicles and will make them vulnerable to drone strikes. (Living Under the Drones 2012, 100-101)
7.6. Impact of Unmanned Aerial Systems on the Psychology of Drone Operators
There a number of studies that are being conducted to analyze the impact of the drone strikes on the operators of the drones. It has been reported by a study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), named ‘Psychological Health Screening of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Operators and Supporting Units’, that the stress faced by drone operators is mostly occupational and operational that is long working hours, the location of the work and the concerns about the nature of their profession are the major drivers of this stress. Apart from that, the study also indicated that the operators of military or armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are more vulnerable to emotional exhaustion and stress than those of surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). A study that examined 426 officers also indicated that the cynicism and the emotional stress that the drone operators confront and feel is due to operational and occupational causes and not due to exposure to attacks and warfare. (Caroline 2013, 3) a Medact report, which was published in the year 2012, indicated that the concerns of the drone operators regarding the nature of their job can have negative impacts on the psychology of the drone operators. This is because due to the negative image of the drone strikes and the use Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has led towards the development of negative perceptions regarding the drone operators in the minds of the general public of the United States of America and the affected areas as well. (Caroline 2013, 4)
8. Conclusions and Recommendations
This part concludes the above conducted research on the basis of the analyzed data and information collected from various secondary sources. Recommendations for the improvement in the usage of UAV for the benefit of nation are given in this part. Moreover, this part also lays down the recommendations for curbing the disadvantages of drones especially in violating public privacy.
The above research has led to the following conclusions:
a) Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) has played an important role in fighting against terrorism. It has been accepted by the U.S.A. Defense Secretary, CIA and other government officials of the U.S.A. that use of UAVs has been very helpful in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen. Further, this technology reduced the risks faced by the pilots (or other vehicle operators) as before the implementation of this kind of technology the operators of the vehicles used in wars and fights against terrorism faced a life threat and other risks (associated with severe accidents).
These officials, CIA and government of USA also accepts the fact that because of the use of UAVs, in U.S.’s fight against terrorism, a lot of important leaders of terrorism agencies and organizations were caught, punished and killed. The imprisonment and death of these leaders has been the greatest achievement in the fight against terrorism (as it has morally and psychologically affected the remaining members and led to weakening of the terrorist agencies and organizations) and it has been made much easier and possible because of use of UAV technology. Many studies proved that the use of UAVs (through drone attacks) in fighting terrorism has reduced terrorist activities.
b) UAVs have greatly benefitted USA in border surveillance and security. By adding the additional security through the use of UAVs, United States of America has managed to fill the gaps left by the current security, has also gained access to remote areas, can identify little disturbances in inaccessible locations and can also get real time images of areas and localities where issues or security breaches have been detected.
The use of UAVs also helps decrease the burden on existing security devices and human resources. This not only reduces the need for burdening the petrol agents and security officers in tough times but also helps alleviate the life threatening risks faced by such officers. UAVs are much sensitive in detecting any threat than other devices or petrol agents.
c) Apart from all the benefits associated with the UAVs, they are still the biggest threat to the privacy of the U.S. citizens. As UAVs are equipped with highly modern technologies to detect, transfer and capture data immediately to the controlling locations, there are strong risks, of breach of privacy of citizens, associated with the use of UAVs.
d) There are many collateral damages associated with drone strikes (use of UAVs). These damages are not brought to light and therefore, the exact damage cannot be measured. Drone strikes not only affect the terrorists or dangerous people but also affect the lives of innocent people. Most importantly many innocent people lose their lives, houses, security and privacy and peace of mind because of constant surveillance and attacks by the UAVs. The nature and extent of these effects to innocent people and their lives is still not measured and it is expected that if measured it can come out to be huge.
The people, living in the areas under UAV surveillance and attacks, are in constant fear and stress. Their day-to-day life, livelihood and chance of living a normal life like any other individual are badly affected and threatened by this technology. They are in constant fear of losing their lives, families, belongings, houses, etc. At any time because of a drone attack. This is one of the biggest disadvantages associated with the UAVs because many lives are being damaged knowingly and not much is being done by the controllers in this regard.
These attacks and surveillance also affect the social and religious lives of these people. They cannot participate in or conduct any religious or other festivals / ceremonies. Even if such events are organized they do not take part in them because of fear and threats to their lives.
e) Because of the effect of double attack at one place (target location) by the UAVs, the people at those locations have now become hesitant to help the affected. There are many innocent people among the affected people and such hesitancy lead to many other damages (including lifelong disability or loss of life).
f) the areas and locations under UAV surveillance and attacks suffer huge financial and economic losses. Loss of property and lives of the earners lead to the financial distress of the locals and the affected families face huge financial as well as mental troubles. Further, U.S. government does not take any step to help the affected families to come out of the financial problems and distress.
g) the residents of the affected locations and areas also suffer a great problem in the form of unavailability of any educational institute. Moreover, if there are institutes people are terrified of leaving their houses and getting themselves educated. Further, they are under constant fear and stress and therefore, they are unable to focus on education and learning. Thus, it can be said that this technology of UAS (in the form of UAVs and drones) have yet another adverse effect on the residents and that is the effect on acquiring quality education.
h) Another impact of UAVs on the lives of the residents of the affected localities and areas is their fear in attending any funerals or burial ceremonies because of the threat that there will be other attacks on areas where people gather. This leads to the fear of people in gathering at market places or participate in any of the ceremonies or religious festivals. Their lives are in jeopardy and constant threat of being attacked and killed.
i) These attacks and surveillance by UAVs have created an environment of mistrust and conflict among the members of the localities. People do not trust each other and usually keep to one self. The sense of belongingness to a society and locality has been greatly affected and people are in constant emotional and mental stress.
j) UAVs or drones not only affect the psychology and emotions of the affected innocent people, they also have huge impact on the psychology of the drone operators. The long and stressful job timings, nature of the job (as it greatly affects other lives), and other operational requirements cause the operators to be under constant mental and emotional stress.
There are many problems and negative effects associated with the use of UAVs. Further, it is an accepted fact that UAV technology is highly effective in fighting against terrorism. This technology has greatly benefitted the U.S. In its fight against terrorism by breaking the backbones of many of the terrorist organization. Moreover, this technology, because of the usage of highly sophisticated and intricate system of surveillance, is an extremely beneficial tool of surveillance and border protection. Thus, the recommendation of many scholars, consultants and agencies of stopping the use of UAVs and drone attacks cannot be accepted. As benefits associated with this technology are much greater than the harmful aspects.
Moreover, in order to curb the dangers and effects of drone attacks on residents (innocent people) of the affected localities U.S. government should take steps to form laws and regulation, which should govern the attacks and manage the after effects. The damages should be measured and relief should be provided to the locals.
The New America Foundation indicated that because of use of more advance technology the drone attacks are becoming more accurate day by day and therefore, the collateral damage caused by such attacks has reduced with the passage of time. However, there is a requirement of formation of an independent department that should be responsible for the formulation of laws regulations and policies controlling and managing the UAV surveillance and attacks. The department should also be responsible for measuring the damages caused by those attacks and compensating the affected innocent people. Further, the department should also be responsible for identifying and defining the privacy of people and laying down the limits which should not be crossed in order to maintain the privacy of the civilians.
The most important point to remember is that the department controlling and managing UAVs should be independent and should report to an authorized representative of judiciary from time to time.
By doing so, many of the damages to the lives of the innocent people can be curtailed as there will be an independent separate body responsible for the welfare of these people and such a body will be answerable for all its decisions and mandates.
Regular reports, specifying the damages caused by these attacks and their effects on the lives of the innocent people, steps taken by the department / agency to curtail those effects and to regularize the lives of normal people, should be made by that department. These reports should also indicate the reason for attacks, their effect on privacy of the people and their results.
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