Unmanned drones have become the weapon of choice in the Obama administration, which launched more drone attacks in nine months than the Bush administration did in three years. When it comes to attacking al-Qaeda, said CIA director Leon Panetta, drones are “the only game in town.”
With drones, operators sitting in front of computer monitors in Virginia and Nevada can target enemies halfway around the world. When their shift is done, drone operators retire to their suburban homes.
The U.S. has several drone programs. One is controlled by the military and operates in countries where the U.S. is at war—Iraq and Afghanistan. A CIA-controlled program targets terrorists in places like Pakistan and Somalia. The Homeland Security Department also uses drones to patrol the border with Canada.