For example, when the British and USA drones are physically present in Afghanistan, control is through satellite from USAF base outside Las Vegas, Nevada. When launched in the conflict zone, controllers carry out the operation on video screens in specially designed trailers stationed at Nevada desert. One controller ‘flies’ the drone, another operates the sensors, cameras and monitors just like a video game while the third person is in contact with the ground troops and commanders in the war zone. The CIA has been using drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq to assassinate terrorist leaders, most notably the Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. At least 36 American armed UAVS are present over Afghanistan and Iraq airspaces at any particular time.
Many people have confused the non-flying robots for drones thereby further confusing their benefits and liabilities. Drones have several benefits among them Safety; they have greatly reduced military casualties since they carry no one. They are also significantly cheaper to purchase, fuel, operate and maintain than regular airplanes. Drones carry less risk to the military hardware since they are smaller and can fly much lower than the traditional airplanes. They have longer operational hours without fatigue since they have no human pilots. Besides, drone pilots or operators can easily hand off drone controls without any operational downtime (Collard, 2013). They are very accurate with pinpoint accuracy over great distances thus reducing collateral damage to infrastructure and civilians. Drones are also very lethal to enemy combats than regular airplanes. They have greatly increased surveillance process, reconnaissance, and general military intelligence through spying. Lastly, they are easier and faster to deploy than most of the military alternatives. Some of the liabilities of drones include limited abilities since they cannot communicate with civilians for detailed