The use of Drones and unmanned air crafts will increase by 50%, according to a senior pentagon official. The daily drone flights, which are used for both intelligence and attacks are set to expand in areas such as the Middle East, and the Ukraine.The amount of people using the drones will also increase. Whilst drones are currently predominantly used by the American Air Force, Special Operations Command as well as outside private contractors are set to aid in the growth of the unmanned planes.
The reason for this expansion is said to be for surveillance reasons. Speaking in April this year, Gen. Philip Breedlove, chief of the U.S. European Command stated that more surveillance is required in order to gather more intelligence for the U.S.. It is alleged that this need is in response to growing security threats against America.
Although it was originally thought that the need for drones would lessen as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wound down and troops were withdrawn, however the uprisings in the Middle East in 2011 as well as the growing threat of IS in various countries in North Africa mean that the need for drones is higher than before.
Commanders in the U.S. Army also feel that rising tensions in Russia and Ukraine, as well as stirrings of unease in the Pacific could suggest the need for drones in other areas. In the South China sea, there are currently plans for island building, which brings about thoughts of higher security in America.
Although the government have made it clear that only unarmed drones will be being used by private contractors and civilian pilots, it is unclear where the Pentagon are going to get the money to fund this endeavour, which hopes to bring the number of flights per day up to 90 from 61.