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Drones are different

Drones are different

The recent crash of a $176 million Navy drone in a Chesapeake Bay marsh highlights a number of brewing issues over the domestic use of this new technology. Over the past decade, since the United States' invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and framed by the Bush and Obama administrations' war on terror, the use of drones as both a surveillance tool and a means to kill insurgents has increased. This is a story about effective law enforcement, proper training, the associated costs — and the deadly consequences, intentional or not.

Although there was some public consternation last year regarding the use of drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) to kill Anwar Awlaki, an...