[drone-list] End-Use Monitoring on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Exports

Gregory Foster gfoster at entersection.org
Tue Sep 18 07:33:33 PDT 2012

   Drone Wars UK (Sep 18) - "Mapping drone proliferation: big business vs.
   the MTCR":
   Summarizes and riffs on the GAO report.

   On 9/12/12 5:17 PM, John Young wrote:

     Agencies Could Improve Information Sharing and End-Use Monitoring on
     Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Exports
     Full 58-page report, PDF:
     GAO-12-536, Jul 30, 2012
     What GAO Found
     Since 2005, the number of countries that acquired an unmanned aerial
     vehicle (UAV) system nearly doubled from about 40 to more than 75.
     In addition, countries of proliferation concern developed and
     fielded increasingly more sophisticated systems. Recent trends in
     new UAV capabilities, including armed and miniature UAVs, increased
     the number of military applications for this technology. A number of
     new civilian and commercial applications, such as law enforcement
     and environmental monitoring, are available for UAVs, but these
     applications are limited by regulatory restrictions on civilian
     The United States likely faces increasing risks as countries of
     concern and terrorist organizations seek to acquire UAV technology.
     Foreign countries' and terrorists' acquisition of UAVs could provide
     them with increased abilities to gather intelligence on and conduct
     attacks against U.S. interests. For instance, some foreign countries
     likely have already used UAVs to gather information on U.S. military
     activities overseas. Alternatively, the U.S. government has
     determined that selected transfers of UAV technology support its
     national security interests by providing allies with key
     capabilities and by helping retain a strong industrial base for UAV
     production. For instance, the United Kingdom and Italy have used
     UAVs purchased from the United States to collect data on Taliban
     activity in Afghanistan.
     The United States has engaged in multilateral and bilateral
     diplomacy to address UAV proliferation concerns. The United States
     principally engaged the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to
     address multilateral UAV proliferation concerns. Since 2005, the
     United States proposed certain significant changes to address how
     MTCR controls UAVs, but members could not reach a consensus for
     these changes. Also, while the Wassenaar Arrangement (Wassenaar)
     controls the export of some key dual-use UAV components, it does not
     control other dual-use technologies that are commonly used in UAVs.
     The Department of State (State) has also used diplomatic cables to
     address the proliferation of UAV-related technologies bilaterally.
     State provided to GAO about 70 cables that it sent from January 2005
     to September 2011 addressing UAV-related concerns to about 20
     governments and the MTCR. Over 75 percent of these cables focused on
     efforts by a small number of countries of concern to obtain UAV
     U.S. agencies coordinate in several ways to control the spread of
     UAV technology, but could improve their UAV-related information
     sharing. For instance, an interagency group reviews many license
     applications to export UAV technology. However, there is not a
     formal mechanism to ensure that licensing agencies have relevant and
     timely intelligence information when making licensing decisions.
     Also, State's licensing database cannot provide aggregate data on
     military UAV exports State has authorized, which may impair the U.S.
     government's ability to oversee the release of sensitive UAV
     technology. The Department of Defense (DOD) and State each conduct
     end-use monitoring of some UAV exports, but differences in the
     agencies' programs may result in similar types of items being
     subject to different levels of oversight.

Gregory Foster || [4]gfoster at entersection.org
@gregoryfoster <> [5]http://entersection.com/


   1. http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/mapping-drone-proliferation-big-business-vs-the-mtcr/
   2. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-536
   3. http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/593131.pdf
   4. mailto:gfoster at entersection.org
   5. http://entersection.com/

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