US must confront drone proliferation

Earlier this month, authorities at Mogadishu’s international airport seized six disassembled drones. Turkish pressure forced Somali authorities to release the Turkish engineers who accompanied the shipment. Those engineers said the drones were for agricultural purposes.

This seems unlikely. First, the drones cost $780,000, far out of range of any Somali farmer. Second, the Turkish export licenses show the drones have a 3–4-hour flight endurance and payload capacity that suggests a military rather than agricultural role.

Earlier this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey had built a drone base on land seized during its 1974 invasion of Cyprus. “Turkey is not 780,000 square kilometers for us; Turkey is everywhere.

The White House should not shrug off attacks that fail to kill Americans: Drones will only grow more accurate and capable with time and trial. The United States should undertake a multipronged strategy in response.

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