This article presents an interesting point about US drones that I don’t think people really think about much. As drone technology spreads, other countries will look towards previous countries for a precedent about how to use the drones. Since the US currently uses drones in a very secretive, probably destabilizing way, that justifies other countries doing the same thing. As Roberts, the writer of the article cited above, indicates– “Label the targets as terrorists, point towards Washington, and … say we learned it by watching you”.
The way we use drones can only result in destabilizing incidents– there’s only a risk that other countries use drones the same way we do. They could spy on each other, which is problematic because the country being spied on might see the drone as a threat of war. If a drone crashes into a place in another country (and the current tech is prone to accidents as crashes, which is also discussed in the article cited above), it could easily be interpreted as an act of war.
The only way to delegitimize this kind of behavior is by changing US drone policy. We need to not be so secretive about the way we use drones, and use them in less destabilizing manners. That would set an international precedent so as to prevent other countries and actors who use drones from using them in ways that could result in nuclear war.