May 20th, 2014
11:51 AM ET

Clarke: Probably 40 nations now have drones

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Richard Clarke, former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism, about the future of drone use. Watch the video for the full interview.

You talk about the fact that this technology is going to be more widely available, and so we'd better be careful. We’ve heard this for a while. How close are we to China, in significant ways, using drones?

China is using drones today, they're just not killing people with then. They have a drone that looks remarkably like the Predator…There are probably 40 nations now that have drones. Three that I know of have used them in lethal operations.

So these are armed drones now?

Well, so there are three countries that have used armed drones – Russia, the United States and Israel. There are 40 something countries that have drones that could easily put weapons on them. And now there are companies and local governments, and in the United States it has become a real issue, because there are thousands of people who have bought drones and want to use them for real estate purposes and advertising purposes.

And the government rules say you can't fly above 400 feet. And yet they are. And one almost ran into an airline in Florida. So we're going to see drones more and more a part of our everyday life as we go forward.

So we need, clearly, rules about surveillance drones. But at an international level, do you think we could come up with some kind of international treaty that sets out exactly what the rights and responsibilities are? Otherwise, as you point out, we’ve killed 2,500 people in five countries without any kind of Congressional declaration of war, without even the invocation of some kind of presidential war powers.

Well, if we establish some international norm, and said you can do this, but you can't do that – if we were the leader of that effort, it would be rather ironic because we're the only ones who would have violated those international norms.

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Topics: China • GPS Show • Military

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. ✠ RZ ✠

    Warnings went out on the global proliferation of drone use long ago, and it was even mentioned right here on Zak's GPS blog just recently. How insanely ironic is it that hand guns are under serious scrutiny while the proliferation of drones is not? Better yet, if commercial aircraft can be so readily hijacked and converted to missiles, then how difficult will it be to fly one of these things into most anything anywhere?

    May 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Prediction

      I practice five hours every day flying a simulator

      May 22, 2014 at 10:23 am |
  2. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    May 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • SF

      @John Smith..why do you post in every forumor discussion with the same misinformation and lies.

      May 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
      • JS is an Iranian nutcase

        Just ignore this John Smith nutcase. His real name is Mohammed Ali Reza or some such thing. He has been posting this nonsense comment on all CNN GPS blogs for over a year now. The NSA and FBI and CIA probably have his real email address and his profile and his actual whereabouts. He is being watched and monitored, without a doubt, as a possible terrorist. That's what the 2 billion dollar NSA/TSA/DHS building in DC is for anyway.............. 🙂

        May 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
      • Tom Clark

        So none of these statements are true? Are you sure?

        May 22, 2014 at 10:33 am |
    • dr.Mahendra Swarup

      For permanent democratic peace and for ever that depends on two things .First Religion and second is Politics.I think that it is not only every bodies birth right but is everybodies birth duty to know the TRUTH .Regarding Religion . I founded WORLD RELIGION see and regarding Politics U.N.O. must be changed into World govt. with World Army and World currency.No country can have its own Army but only Police force to maintain peace and order within the country.For Justic International Court is already there.Visa rules etc. will be applicable.Rest can contact me.

      May 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
      • ✠ RZ ✠

        I agree that there should only be one collective army in the world to protect all countries. The savings and redirected effort would be more than enough to help us develop habitation on the moon and move onward in space.

        May 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
    • George patton

      Quite true John, quite true indeed. Look at what the C.I.A. has achieved throughout the years since WW2. Very nauseating indeed, not to mention those monster drones being used to murder people in the Middle East nowadays!!!

      May 22, 2014 at 11:03 am |
  3. SF

    This is false reporting, the so called drones in the US used by civilians are actually remote controlled toys flow by guys want to regulate kids? Not all are aware that there are groups of responsible adults that actually use their toys with cameras and fly them for photographic hobbies who understand the NAS dos and donts. I have seen them in action and they actally take the time to study commercial aircraft traffic flows.

    May 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      @ SF The following is some very old news (2012?) and anything that hits the main stream media is pretty much already out of date. There a plenty of Americans that have already seen drones flying over their state. Think one crashed near L.A. a little while ago too.

      General Atomics has built nearly 200 Predator B drones, and has sold the airplanes to Italy and France. Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia have also expressed interest, but that may not translate into firm orders until 2015 or 2016, Pace said.

      In the Gulf region, General Atomics has sold five of the XP or export version of the unmanned plane to the United Arab Emirates, which is looking at additional purchases, Pace said.

      Other Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman had also expressed interest, he added.

      May 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
      • rupert

        Hi RZ. I like u.
        Do u like me???

        May 20, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
      • rupert

        @ RZ..(big wet kiss) with tongue intruding into inner mouth, dental area and tongue to tongue

        May 20, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
  4. chri§§y

    @ SF seriously? You cant really believe what you just isnt just KIDS that have drones!

    May 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  5. chri§§y

    Lol is that your version of a "derpasstroll advice column?" lmao

    May 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
  6. rupert

    I wish I had a few drones. I know a few bloggers I would like to target.

    May 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
  7. chri§§y

    Wow really now? Was that a threat @ rupert?

    May 20, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
  8. rupert

    No. But this is a threat.
    I am going to give u a wet kiss if u dont give me one by 8:38 est.

    May 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
  9. rupert


    May 20, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
  10. rupert


    May 20, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
  11. rupert

    Im sorry chrissy. I have to kiss RZ.

    May 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
  12. chri§§y

    Lol you do know RZ is a guy right?

    May 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
  13. chri§§y

    Now thats just TOO grade school lmao!

    May 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
  14. rupert

    @ chrissy. French kiss. Tongue to tongue. Whoa!

    May 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
  15. rupert

    Oh chrissy. That was soooo good.
    Ty. U still got it, baby.

    May 20, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
  16. rupert

    I think u liked it. RZ too. He is a hot guy

    May 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
  17. chri§§y

    Lol im sure he will be soooo impressed that you think so! I got your new name picked out for you in Gonzo Wierdo! How do you like it? I think it suits you!

    May 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
  18. Ferhat Balkan

    The use of drone strikes is unethical and immoral. The human cost of "collateral damage" is too high. In the long run, more and more people who have lost family members to drone strikes are getting angry at the US. The loss of civilian lives also creates a propaganda tool for the extremists who use it to recruit more followers.

    May 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Well put, Ferhat. I fully agree. The heinous use of these machines in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen is truly a national disgrace. This kind of abuse needs to be outlawed at the UN!

      May 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
  19. chri§§y

    I totally agree @ Ferhat!!! And whats next? Soon one country or another will try to dictate which countries are allowed to have them...and which cannot? History repeating itself and no one learning a damn thing!

    May 20, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
  20. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    If Richard Clarke is right, this could be very good news indeed. This diminishes the likelihood of war even further. The fact that we're using these monsters of ours to slaughter people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen is truly a national disgrace and as Americans, we should all hang our heads in pure shame!

    May 21, 2014 at 10:14 am |
  21. chri§§y

    A lovely idea but how would we be able to trust that! It would be mighty difficult to comprise a large military that wouldnt be biased doncha think? Lol and gosh knows theres a whole he!!uva lot of bigotry in this world!

    May 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
  22. oogenhand

    Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Drone on.

    May 22, 2014 at 12:26 am |
  23. US drones did not kill

    ´J a p a n e s e have killed 2,500 people in five countries without any kind of declaration of war´ – these were ´j a p a n e s e drones´.

    May 22, 2014 at 4:15 am |
  24. No more CNN lies

    ... kick the crap out of CNN.

    May 22, 2014 at 9:06 am |
    • George patton

      I agree. I'm aggravated at the fact that CNN never mentions the simple fact that around 70% of those on the receiving end of those monsters are civilians who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!!!

      May 22, 2014 at 11:07 am |
  25. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I wish that I had a lot of drones in my yard.
    Son of a gun, we'll have big fun...

    May 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
  26. chri§§y

    Lol...down on the bayou? Thought you lived in Manhattan @ Joey?

    May 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
  27. looking for a rebate

    "three countries that have used armed drones – Russia, the United States and Israel"

    If the UK is not used any armed drones can we get a refund on them?

    May 23, 2014 at 7:32 am |

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