Foreign Policy Magazine

What America Hath Wrought

The Obama administration can’t wash its hands of the drones’ ruinous impacts—or responsibility for terrorists’ pursuit of those weapons.

Hanging in an atrium of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, home to the Wright brothers’ plane and the Mercury capsule that first carried an American into space, is a Predator drone with the tail number 3034. Like the other vehicles on display, it made history by launching a revolution: Nearly one month after 9/11, in the skies above Afghanistan, 3034 became the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to kill humans with a remotely fired missile.

Once little more than novelties, militarized drones are now buzzing around the globe like locusts. According to New America, “the virtual monopoly on drones that the

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