We know that drones kill, but we don’t really know if they kill the right people, or at least we don’t know how often.
The Pentagon has been stingy with information on the accuracy of the drones. Counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen and Center for a New American Security fellow Andrew Exum called for a reduction in these attacks, explaining in a New York Times op-ed that they are not nearly as good at killing high-level al-Qaeda leaders as military experts claim, but Defense Department officials still have not provided much more information on why we should continue to use them at the current levels.
Now, however, military officials are talking about ramping up the use of drones and expanding their capacities, as the Times reports. It is all very exotic, particularly the drones that may someday swarm through the air, darkening the skies “like locusts.” It's also potentially lucrative. Wired’s Danger Room describes one of the cooler drones, a brand-new “Excalibur aircraft, a 13 foot-long, 10 foot-span, half-scale test model” and shows the same kind of techno-fascination that is shared by people in the Pentagon – and celebrated by military contractors who see drones, as the Times reports, as a “prime growth area.”