What to Do About Enemy Drones

The article “Meet the Drone Killers” (Business & Tech., July 24) should be worrisome to Americans because it describes several realistic scenarios that highlight the need to develop antidrone defenses.

Even more troubling are real-world incidents involving drones used by the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah during conflicts with Israel. Though the unmanned aerial vehicles employed by Hamas during the 2014 Gaza war were relatively primitive, this won’t remain the case for long. Hezbollah has been able to penetrate Israeli airspace on multiple occasions, coming perilously close to key infrastructure sites and population centers. Because the technologies involved in developing unmanned aerial vehicles are readily available, most agree that groups such as Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliates will acquire this technology in the next decade. We should expect to see these groups employ UAVs for reconnaissance, ground attacks or as weapons packed with explosives.

Shortly after the 2014 Gaza war, I was part of an independent task force commissioned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs to study the conflict and provide lessons for the U.S. military and policy makers when facing adversaries such as Hamas. Given the potential for UAV proliferation by terrorist organizations, we recommended the U.S. develop counter-UAV air-defense technologies to defend against large numbers of small, explosive UAVs attacking simultaneously, in a coordinated fashion. Without a credible defense against drones in the hands of terror groups, the U.S. may find itself ceding the advantages in drone technology that it has enjoyed over the past two decades.

Originally published in the Wall Street Journal on August 14, 2015