The United Arab Emirates has signed $1.4 billion in military contracts that includes $200 million worth of U.S.-made drones.
Washington has traditionally used “obedient Arab dictatorships” in the Persian Gulf as military bases in the region, according to antiwar.com.
Arming adversarial Arab monarchs with drones merely feeds the process of proliferation, the report added.
“The UAE says the Predator drones, built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, will not be outfitted for weapons capabilities, but used for reconnaissance,” The Associated Press reported.
“The number of countries that have acquired or developed drones expanded to more than 75, up from about 40 in 2005, according to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress,” USA Today reported in January.
“The prospect of other countries using drones in the same lawless, lethal, unaccountable way the U.S. has is unnerving to Americans, who have long believed they should not be subject to the rules everybody else must follow,” writes John Glaser of antiwar.com.
“When we possess such weaponry, it turns out there is nothing unnerving or disturbing, apocalyptic or dystopian about it,” Tom Engelhardt observes in Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050. But “when the first Iranian or Russian or Chinese missile-armed drones start knocking off their chosen sets of terrorists, we won’t like it one bit,” the report quoted Engelhardt as saying.
The United States uses drones not only to spy on its own citizens across the country but to launch missiles overseas to apparently kill “suspected militants.” According to international media reports, American drone strikes have so far killed thousands of civilians over the past decade in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.