An article here by Nick Turse points out that the armed drones used extensively by Obama are wonder weapons with wings of clay. In all 70 drones have been crashed or been downed since 2000. Each event has resulted in damage of 2 million or more.
The drones are launched from a network of 60 bases around the globe often in consort with elite special forces units. This is part of the new leaner military of Obama. Often crashes are caused by failure of the drones electronic control system. In certain type of electronic failures some drones are programmed to self destruct as happened in an incident in Iraq in 2007.
The rise in hours flown by drones is huge over the years. In 2001 Air Force drones flew only 7,500 hours but at the end of last year over 70,000 hours had been flown. Drone disaster happen in many different areas including Afghanistan, Djibouti, Iraq, Libya, Seychelles and Kuwait and other unspecified areas.
Although some defense spending is being cut expenditures on drones will increase. The Congressional Budget Office last year published a report showing that over the next ten years“the Department of Defense plans to purchase about 730 new medium-sized and large unmanned aircraft systems”
Turse believes that drones do more harm than good as they create hostility and generate more enemies. No doubt this will show that there is a need for more drones to kill them. Drones are only useful against enemies who do not have at their command resources to shoot them down. They are powerful only against the defenseless. Turse gives detailed examples of a number of drone incidents in his article.