[drone-list] End-Use Monitoring on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Exports
gfoster at entersection.org
Tue Sep 18 07:33:33 PDT 2012
Drone Wars UK (Sep 18) - "Mapping drone proliferation: big business vs.
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 || gfoster at entersection.org
@gregoryfoster <> http://entersection.com/
4. mailto:gfoster at entersection.org
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