Thinking and reasoning

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TMA – JULY 2016



STUDENT ID: B1682131

Claim: Drones might be a double edged sword

Drones killed the leader of Afghan Taliban

Increasing number of aircrafts without pilots

Accuracy of the drone strikes

Possibility for ISIS to order a drone strike but not at the moment due to inability


Hundreds were killed in Pakistan and US has been inventing new drones like MQ-9

Technology of satellites used to track enemies

Drone strikes are not precise as it will kill more than the intended targets

ISIS has already been using drones for various purposes



Serially supported that US Special Ops uses satellites to track terrorist

Drones are for commercial use and it creates jobs and generate income for the economy

From this extract, Mary Dejevsky developed the argument that drones might be a potential threat. According to BBC news, drones are used like an “eye in the sky” in situations where manned flight is considered dangerous (BBC News, 2015). Her overall claim is that drones might be a double edged sword. While it might provide an assistance for planes, it might also be used as a technology by The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Therefore, this essay will seek to find out the use of drones with regards to Dejevsky’s arguments.

In the first paragraph, Dejevsky mentioned that the leader of Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, was killed when his car was targeted by a US drone, and his death might potentially shift the balance of power in the conflict. She further supports her argument in paragraph three that drone attacks have been so often and overlooked as this technology is now taken for granted.

In the light of today’s context, it can be agreed with Dejevsky that drones are used as a technology for air strikes. With reference to BBC news, President Obama affirms that US regularly strikes suspected personnel in Pakistan’s area. To further add on, it was reported that hundreds of people have been killed by the strikes in Pakistan. There are many military personnel believes that drones are delivered for precision strikes without the need of mobile troops. Moreover, it was mentioned that the latest MQ-9 Reaper carries four Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs which could cause devastation (BBC News, 2015). However, it can be argued that ultimately, the use of drones can be seen from a different perspective. According to National Public Radio (NPR), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will expect close to 600,000 drones to be used for commercial purposes. As obtaining a pilot license might be increasingly difficult for some, drones operators will now only need to pass a certification test and abide the various rules and regulations. Moreover, drones can be used for other commercial purposes such as aerial photography, agriculture, filmmaking. With the invention of commercialized drones, it will be expected to create more than 100,000 jobs and generate more than $82 billions for the economy (Selyukh, 2016).

In paragraph four, Dejevsky mentions that in the modern society, there is no need for armed conflicts or the deployment of military troops during war as technology has advanced drastically. She stated that there is an increasing number of observational military aircrafts flying around without pilots and the technology of satellites used to track the enemy down to a distinctive area. Therefore, she claims that with the current technology in the advanced world, it is possible to deploy drones without any risk to the trooper.

In the consideration of advanced technology in the modern context, it can be agreed with Dejevsky that it is possible to use technology to track your enemies. Recently, US Special Operations Team revealed that they are able to track terrorist through the use of satellites. They have sent up four mini-satellites which are able to tag, track and locate data of high-value targets, like al-Qaida terrorists. Similarly, to the statement “satellites can track the enemy down to an individual in a particular spot”, these CubeSat satellites are able to use tracking tags on enemies and locate their position anywhere in the world (Weinberger, 2011). In addition, it can also be agreed with Dejevsky that there is an increasing number of observational military aircrafts flying around with pilots. The US Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus, reported that future navy fighter planes will be unmanned. This is because US needed innovation to keep track of the fast-changing global technological environment. Thus, Mabus will seek to spearhead various unmanned system efforts and technology (Osborn, 2015).

In paragraph nine, Dejevsky cites that the accuracy of the drones strikes have became lethal, and it can be used to kill enemies without the deployment of troops. This is serially supported in paragraph ten where she states that Reyaad Khan was targeted and killed by a drone.

However, Dejevsky’s argument is not valid as US President Obama announced that a drone strike can inadvertently kill innocent people. It is believed that drone strikes are accurate but it seems otherwise. According to The Atlantic magazine, US highlighted that drone strikes are only as accurate as the intelligence it is based on. Even though drone strikes are likely to hit their intended target, it will kill innocent people who are within the vicinity (Schiavenza, 2015). Additionally, The Guardian analyzed the data conducted by groups on the raising questions about the accuracy of intelligence guiding precise strikes. They concluded that out of 41 men targeted, 1,147 people were killed by US drone strikes which included areas such as Pakistan and Yemen (Ackerman, 2014). Ultimately, drone strikes solely depend on the intelligence they received and will kill unintended targets as the strike is not totally accurate.

Lastly, Dejevsky bought up in paragraph eleven that there is a possibility for ISIS to order a drone strike on either a US or British official. However, she pointed out that ISIS are not able to order drone strike as they lack the capacity or the ability to do so for the time being.

Therefore, her assumption is invalid as The Telegraph reported that ISIS fighters are using drones with improvised explosive device (IED) and spy cameras. Thus, the British Defense Department office has decided to come up with a contingency plan by investing $20 million for a counter-drone effort (Bloomberg News, 2016). In addition, another article by The Sun UK reported that there has been an increasing trend of ISIS militants converting their popular toys into weapons such as drones. It was found out that ISIS is using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in Syria and Iraq to improvise their surveillance capability and carry IED (Woodhouse, 2016). Furthermore, there are actually various reasons why ISIS has been using drones. Firstly, they used drones for tactical observations in order to look for attack opportunities. Secondly, they used drones to understand how security forces response to attacks. Lastly, ISIS uses drones to create propaganda in order to recruit fresh blood into their group (Judson, 2016).

In conclusion, with regards to Dejevsky’s arguments and her examples, it is agreeable to a certain extent that warfare technologies such as drones can be used by ISIS for terrorism attacks. The examples given by her such as the drone strike on Mansoor or satellites used to track enemies have been validated and explained to show the consequences of the warfare technology. In addition, it is highly possible that ISIS has the ability to order a drone strike as reported by The Telegraph. On the other hand, drones can also be used for commercial purposes to generate income for the economy and to create jobs.

Number of words: 1,136


  • Drones: What are they and how do they work? (2012, January 31). Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Selyukh. A. (2016, August 29). FFA Expects 600,000 Commercial Drones in The Air Within A Year. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Weinberger. S. (2011, May 18). U.S. Special Ops Building Satellites to Track Terrorist Everywhere. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Osborn. Kris. (2015, April 16). Navy Secretary Says Future Navy Fighter Planes Will Be Unmanned. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Woodhouse. C. (2016, July 29). Attack of the drones fear ISIS could use drones for terror bombing in Britain as government reveals they do same in Syria and Iraq. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Schiavenza. M. (2015, April 24). Drones and the Myth of Precision. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Ackerman. S. (2014, November 24). 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US done strikes – the facts on the ground. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Bloomberg News. (2016, July 7). Islamic State fighters using drones with IEDs and spy cameras, says Pentagon. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

  • Judson. J. (2016, July 8). Pentagon asks for more money to counter ISIS drones. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from

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