Armed drones changing conflict faster than anticipated, Stanford scholar finds

Could the mere threat of using an armed drone ever coerce an enemy to change their behavior – without attacking them?

Evolving drone technology will allow countries to make low-cost but highly credible threats against states and groups that do not possess drones, Stanford political scientist Amy Zegart found. (Image credit: iStock / Everlite)

Yes, says Stanford political scientist Amy Zegart, who argues in a new research paper that countries that simply possess deadly, armed drones could change an adversary’s behavior without even striking them. Zegart is the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and co-director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

“Armed drones are likely to offer coercion ‘windows of opportunity’ in at least one important circumstance: states that have armed drones confronting states that do not,” she said. “As wars grow longer and less conclusive,

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