Yemen faces a drone doom loop that is a harbinger of things to come for many countries.
The increasingly rapid diffusion of drone technology offers endless new opportunities for non-state, near-state, and terrorist groups to attack governments, rivals, infrastructure, and commercial interests. While Yemen’s Houthi rebels currently field more advanced drones than any of their domestic rivals, that is slowly changing as the technology and know-how spreads among their rivals.
The Houthis, therefore, are going to soon find it harder to defend against drone attacks by their rivals. They and, sadly Yemeni civilians, are going to be stuck in an escalating drone doom loop.
The capabilities of commercially available drones increase every month. The development of military grade drones proceeds even faster. The war in Ukraine has further spurred the development and rapid deployment of cheap and deadly drones. Yet these advances and their diffusion come at a time when states across much of the world, especially in the global south, are being hollowed out by corruption, environmental degradation, and the concomitant rise of armed groups who fill the voids.
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