This roundup, curated by ReThink Media, looks at how the media is talking about drone warfare (and related topics) and what stories are being told.
With little transparency from governments on this topic, this roundup aims to be as comprehensive as possible, identifying breaking news, trends, developing stories, or interesting narratives. Rethink Media also use media coverage to compile a snapshot of strikes each week. The short version can be read here.
Just a day after AFRICOM released their new quarterly civilian casualty report, Somali outlets reported that a US drone strike killed three Somali children, which AFRICOM has so far denied. Airwars assessed this allegation of civilian harm as “Fair,” which means “there is a reasonable level of public reporting of an alleged civilian casualty incident from two or more credible sources (often coupled with biographical, photographic or video evidence). Crucially, this includes likely or confirmed actions by a belligerent in the near vicinity for the date in question. [They] believe these cases, in particular, require urgent investigation.”
The U.S. Air Force could narrow the playing field of its Skyborg competition by the end of this summer, with plans to dole out awards to one or more companies to begin prototyping an autonomous combat drone. Last week, the service selected Boeing, Kratos, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics to receive indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contracts for the Skyborg program. [Defense News / Valerie Insinna]
COMMENTARY: “The United States is wracked by problems that pervade its militarized approach to foreign policy, but the debate about drones cannot remain focused solely on market share and money. We must oppose the proliferation of drones by working to limit their sales and usage, not join in on the arms race to make a quick buck.” [Inkstick / Connor Akiyama]
British troops are testing a new nano-drone which is smaller than a can of Red Bull and can be fired from a grenade launcher. [The Sun / Jerome Starkey]
According to al-Masirah, Yemeni air defenses shot down “a hostile US RQ20 spy drone over Jizan.” [Yemen Press]