Drones and National Security, Free Essay

Published: 2022-02-16
Drones and National Security, Free Essay
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Air Force National security
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1813 words
16 min read

National security is one of the main duties of the state. The state has to provide security for its citizens. This has not been the simple task due to the many challenges associated with security and other related parameters. Despite the challenges, the state is doing it's very best to ensure that there is peace and security within their country. One of the biggest challenges faced is the manning of borders. The borders mark the beginning or the end of a nation. There has been a lot of outcry in the recent past due to the large numbers of individuals who sneak into foreign countries illegally. The US particularly has struggled with this issue for the longest time. The region that borders Mexico is one of the worst owing to the number and type of illegal activities that happen there. Mexico is primarily associated with drug lords and thus there is a high possibility that large amounts of drugs have been smuggled into the US. In a bid to curb all this menace, the US Congress has recommended for the use of technology in the security sector (Haddal, Gertler, Library of Congress, & Federation of American Scientists, 2010). They have proposed the installation of a drone surveillance system to guard the US borders. In as much the idea may not be perfect, it may help in a way or two to prevent the illegal activities.

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The US is a superpower and therefore it is fair to say that it has taken them too long to adapt to the modern ways of security. This is an issue that they are supposed to have sorted several years ago. Away from that, technology is the way to go in almost all aspects of the current world. The security system has been the latest to adopt technological advancements in its operations and to some extent, it appears to bear fruits. The nation being a superpower, it is equipped with all manner weapons and well-trained soldiers. They even have locomotives that sense an upcoming danger. Despite all that positive regress, the nation remained greatly exposed to terrorist attacks courtesy to the porous borders. This is the main reason why the legislatures have been very vocal in the implemental of technological security systems.

Drones have an advantage over the usual military tracks. The best thing about them is that they can fly to high heights and do not require the human power to control them. Some of them are automated in that they can be able to take off or land by themselves. Drones can withstand extreme conditions of the sky that human beings cannot. There are no weather conditions that can be said to be too bad for them. They can withstand all kinds of weather and that is one of the reasons why it is being preferred in security systems. Drones have components of the network and other remote factors that enable it to be controlled. Even though it can fly automatically, at some point the manual system is required and that necessities for a command Centre. The United States is known to be a Centre of conflict to many nations in the world. Some of the greatest enemies of the United States are the Islamic States owing to the contribution of US in the wars in their respective countries.

Drones have provides authorities in the US with an alternative way of combating terror attacks. They are being used to survey borders and even countries far from them. The drones are designed in such a way that they capture images at their current location and send them to the remote control Centre. Border surveillance was previously the duty of the air force using special aircraft. Advancements in technology, however, means that the idea of using helipads is outdated. The military planes could not be surveying the borders every now and then as compared to the drones that have no limited working time provided they are in good condition. To some extent, the gamble is working since there has been a decrease in the number of attacks on US soil. The surveillance systems act as an intelligence system that updates the military so that they can remain set in case of an approaching enemy.

Contrary to the previously used systems, drones can fly autonomously in an enemy's territories without being noticed. There were cases where military choppers were being shot down by enemies but that is not the case when it comes to drones (Buzhinsky, 2013). Planes can be compromised since they are operated manually by human beings but when it comes to the automated drones, things are very different. Use of technology in the military really shows that the world is developing. Military operations have become easier unlike in the past where individuals had to be sent for surveillance. The US Congress must have really thought hard before they came up with the proposal. The military as well has taken up the idea and is using it. The idea is based on the fact that scientists invented rockets after they were unable to access some of the stars including the sun. This is the same situation when it comes to security. Currently, almost all nations are able to manufacture their own weapons and thus it is no longer about military strength but brains. It is very possible that despite the military strength, the US can lose in battles especially if they don't engage the intelligence system. The UAV has come to help save the lives of soldiers as well as other US citizens prone to attacks from their immediate enemies. These are some of the facts that must have been raised during the proposal. To some extent, the use of drones can be said to be cheaper as compared to the use of aircraft. The consumption rate of aeroplanes is much higher as compared to that of drones. Additionally, drones require no crew and thus there are more deductions in terms of government expenditure.

Just as the UAV system has a positive side, it equally has a negative side of it. The first problem arises from the operation cost. There is a high probability that maintenance of the drones may dig deep into the accounts of the military. They are expensive to acquire and the same case applies to maintain. Contrary to other tools and items used in the military, drones require some certain degree of skilled labour to operate (Blazakis, 2004). Hiring the services of this skilled laborers is an uphill task for the recruiting agencies. The specialists have then a duty to train several other military personnel's on how to use the system. The training alone may cost a lot in terms of time and other related resources. Additionally, drones are controlled using a computer program. Obtaining qualified programmers for the same has proved to be hard. The software itself is very expensive in terms of purchasing and customization.

Apart from the operation costs, there are other problems associated with the UAV system. One of them is the way the privacy of individuals is handled. The drones can access images from peoples' residential places. This hinders peoples' rights and freedom. It is unfortunate that the drones cannot differentiate between an enemy and the rest of the citizens. They hence end up conveying images of the entire world to the command centre. The spying character of the military using the drones may bring some rift among nations. The nations being spied on may retaliate and hence there is a possibility of a war between nations. These types of wars are not good for the current world owing to a large number of sophisticated weapons manufactured by different countries.

The other problem that can be associated with the use of UAV security system is the security of the software itself. In the modern day, several nations have invested large amounts of their resources in technology. That is the reason why in the recent past there have massive cyber-attacks (Cawley, 2015). These attacks are masterminded by specialists in IT and thus it is very difficult to contain them. The recent cybersecurity attack was noted in Ukraine and it affected most computers in European and American nations. The same case can happen and the program can be hacked. On the other hand, it is possible that the drones can land in the hand of terrorists. This is a very tricky scenario owing to the rift that exists between The US and the Islamic States. For the longest time, terrorists have had unending interest in US territories. Accessing the drones means that the security of the owner country is compromised. Instead of the nation spying other nations with some being enemies, it starts being spied instead. This is very dangerous for a developed nation like the US. There is thus need to safeguard the software to avoid such trouble.

Additionally, it is possible that the manufacturers of the drones may come up with substandard machines that do not meet the standards of being used in security surveillance. Surveillance means that a system should be able to fly being unnoticed and for prolonged periods (Constantinides & Parkinson, 2008). It is unfortunate that some such great nations can be compromised. In such cases, the manufacturers are to blame for their shoddy work. To avoid these, the military should find ways to invent their own UAV systems other than relying on those operated by NASA.

Regardless of the challenges associated with the use of UAV security system, it is a good idea that needs to be implemented fully. There is more than what meets the eye when it comes to national security and border surveillance. It is very wrong for anyone to think that implementing the UAV will put their nation at great risk by exposing them to the enemies. That notion is misleading and thus it is only right that the system is applied. The US specifically has to Mann its borders appropriately. The nation has more enemies than friends and hence the intelligence assistance of the drones in surveying is vital. In as much as there are problems associated with the system, the positive side of it wins. The legislature and the executive should thus allocate funds towards the same.


Blazakis, J. (2004, January 2). Border Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Retrieved from http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/library/P51.pdf

Buzhinsky, E. (2013). THE OUTLOOK FOR UAV RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. Security Index: A Russian Journal on International Security, 19(3), 59-65. doi:10.1080/19934270.2013.814953

Cawley C. (2015, October 15). 5 Unstoppable Drone Security Threats You Should Be Aware Of. Retrieved from https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/unstoppable-drone-security-threats-aware/

Constantinides, C., & Parkinson, P. (2008). Security challenges in UAV development. 2008 IEEE/AIAA 27th Digital Avionics Systems Conference. doi:10.1109/dasc.2008.4702757

Haddal, C. C., Gertler, J., Library of Congress, & Federation of American Scientists. (2010). Homeland security: Unmanned aerial vehicles and border surveillance. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

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