New U.S. Drone Initiative is an Opportunity to Counter Iranian Aggression

The U.S. Navy recently announced an initiative, named Task Force 59, to expand its use of unmanned systems in Middle Eastern waters. The plan coincides with a large escalation of aggression by Iran and its proxies—both at sea and with drones—that has triggered little U.S. military response so far. Task Force 59 intends to provide the United States with expanded capabilities to better address this threat. To best leverage these new unmanned capabilities, the U.S. Navy should expand Task Force 59’s mission to include joint operations with regional partners. Meanwhile, Congress should conduct urgent oversight hearings and briefings to examine Iranian naval aggression and how lessons learned can be applied to the Indo-Pacific Command to counter China’s robust drone arsenal and production program.

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JINSA Staff Contributors

Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst