People in the United States should be mortified that more than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001.
The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act requests for records unearthed that stunning data. If that many military or commercial aircraft had crashed, people would be outraged.
The Post in a yearlong investigation found that military drones, though the vast majority operated effectively, had malfunctioned in many different ways. The crash rate raises many concerns over drones being used for commercial purposes in the United States.
The Post reported that military drones had crashed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair.
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Drones are incredible machines, giving the military capabilities to spy behind enemy lines without the risk of pilot fatigue and to attack in areas where other warplanes might have difficulty. They have been used extensively in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and in killing terrorists in Pakistan and other countries.
They have helped U.S. and NATO forces and saved lives. But the large number and previously unreported crashes of drones is something that needs more investigation before their use increases.