Drone Nation


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The American love affair with drones (officially called unmanned aerial vehicles) extends to both military and law enforcement uses. The U.S. isn’t the only country that uses drones, but it is the most regular user in the world.

Which Countries Have Drones?

The biggest owners of military drones in the world:
U.S. 670
France 23
Germany 9
Italy 5
Turkey 32
U.K. 7
Russia 3
China 11
India 39
Iran 1
Israel 29
Note: Numbers are minimums, as many countries’ levels are unknown.

Business is Booming

Global spending on unmanned aerial vehicles will surge in the next 10 years, rising by a predicted 128 percent.
Projected global spending on drones
2014 $5,200,000,000
2023 $11,900,000,000
Ranked drone spending over the next decade by region
1st U.S.
2nd Asia-Pacific
3rd Europe

Terror From Above?

The U.S. has been widely criticized for its use of drones to fight terrorism. In Pakistan alone, the U.S. has launched thousands of drone strikes since 2004.
Fatalities in Pakistan from U.S. drone attacks (since 2004)
Children 175
Civilians 535
Other 2,390*
High-profile targets 49
* The U.S. classifies all adult men in Pakistan as potential terrorist targets in casualty calculations

Targeting Americans?

Many Americans assume these devices are used only to launch offensives in foreign countries. That’s a false assumption. Over the years, dozens of agencies across the U.S. have used drones for a variety of purposes, many of them classified.