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Past the hour now continuing coverage of the takedown of one of the world's most influential terror figures.
A senior US official tells Fox News to predator drones.
Conducted an airstrike on the Anwar Al -- convoy.
It's just the latest successful US led mission involving drones.
The unmanned aircraft have killed a number of high profile people in Pakistan Afghanistan Libya and -- -- war there and now in Yemen.
More than a year ago President Obama made the drone program the centerpiece of his counterterrorism plan.
Secretary of defense Leon Panetta at the time back when He directed the CIA called the predator drones quote the only game in town.
With a -- inside Peter Singer.
He's the author of wired for war.
The robotics revolution the conflict in the 21 century.
He's also a senior fellow and director of the 21 -- defense initiative at the Brookings Institution serves -- -- Thank -- we use them a lot there's some downsides but -- clearly a very good day.
Look this is a technology that just a couple years ago we all thought of the science fiction and now it is the new normal whether you're talking about war.
Or counter terrorism we're using them over Iraq Afghanistan.
Yemen pockets -- we've carried out -- of several hundred of these strikes so it's not a one off.
That they're tweaking these things right give us an idea about what they're going to book call.
Oh goodness some look at it right now this technology it's almost like -- war war one with the airplane.
So it started out being on the essentially a flying pair of binoculars that was what the first predator was like.
They've since some both up engine did but also given -- the capability to carry weapons specially designed to carry weapons that's what the new reaper version is called.
Where is headed to next they're getting bigger in size but also smaller in size the F prototypes that come.
Have armed wings the length of a football field on the other and you've got ones I was at an air force lab where I saw on system that could fit on the tip of a pencil.
The second thing that's changing is they're getting smarter that is the first versions of them were completely remotely operated.
Now we've got versions that can take off and land on their own fly mission wait points on their own things like that.
And but the third change is on the functions that were using these systems for again initially it was just -- surveillance.
Now for strike but you've got prototypes that are being used for -- things like carrying cargo.
Medical support on you name it and of course with the increasing functionalities.
The users are growing so you know initially was to US only technology.
There's now 45 other nations out there that are building buying and using military robots that so we're talking about -- emerging technology but also global tech.
How -- and I read today that pretty soon they believe they'll be able to launch some -- and someone on site with a with a terror target of some kind.
In their eyesight would be a -- launch one.
From their iPhone which is I don't know way out there of course there is a downside to these things.
When you don't have eyes and ears on the ground during this sort of thing you can miss out on the the kind of intelligence that's helped us out quite a lot.
Well think there's a good comparison near -- there between.
What we've done in Pakistan that with the drone strikes verses say the bin Laden -- So bomb in certain situations it's better to capture and then to kill you get some intelligence value you can also confirmed that you got that person.
He also have the concern over what happens not only if you maybe get the wrong person but just the collateral damage issues and you get a blow back effect.
And so one of the concerns is.
Not only -- when you're dealing with a terrorist group -- -- do you end up playing a game of whack a mole but just getting leader after leader after leader but not really affecting the organization itself.
Which remains to be seen -- on this al-Qaeda cell.
In the Arabian Peninsula.
He's a guy who's on been important to us as a propagandist because He speaks English but he's not been an operational -- so it may not actually.
Harm their core capability but He also get into the concern -- -- sometimes you can give the other side.
Propaganda value out of -- so as an example the fellow that tried to blow himself up and not on.
Times Square just a year ago He said He got into the game of terrorism.
Because of his anger over the drone strikes so it's a very complex issue a figuring out where it makes sense to carry out these strikes and when it's not worth it.
Peter Singer senior fellow the Brookings Institution fascinating stuff Peter such a -- thing.
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