Pentagon increases drone flights by 50% to meet surveillance demand

With the United States Air Force (USAF) suffering from pilot shortages, the Pentagon has joined the drone group with the backing of the US Army, Special Forces and approved third-party contractors who will increase drone activity by 50 per cent.

The Pentagon will provide drivers for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The US government and Pentagon claim it needs more surveillance in Ukraine, the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Yemen), North Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Algeria) and the South China Sea, where conflict between nations and terrorism is awry.

The drones will also be used for airstrikes against the Islamic State, currently operating inside a few Middle Eastern countries. This has been called out in the United Nations and by anti-war activists as illegal, with a death toll of over 6,000 so far from drones.

Despite calls to end the drone strikes in these countries, the US claim it is a worthwhile tactic to displace the Islamic State and potentially catch leaders of the terrorist organisation.

Airstrike missions are conducted by pilots that spend most of their day driving the vehicle and making life or death choices. It appears this line of work is not worthwhile for most pilots, with 1,200 leaving their positions after the contract ends.

This has led to the shortage in available pilots, with most of the first generation moving careers. Plenty of ex-pilots and military veterans claim the job is lifeless and makes decisions outside of work seem minor and pointless, leading to depression or anxiety.

Surveillance is a lot less controversial, but some countries still complain about the amount of surveillance used by the US. Russia and China have both complained, claiming that the US should not be allowed to overview sites where the military operate.

This comes on top of Chinese and Russian complaints that the US is hacking and using cyber surveillance to monitor military movements. The US has denied these claims, and accused both Russia and China of trying to hack into its own systems.