The Mitchell Institute invites you to watch our rollout for our newest policy paper: Building Alliances and Competing with China: The Imperative for UAV Export Reforms by Heather Penney, Senior Resident Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. Paul Scharre, Vice President and Director of Studies, Center for a New American Security joins the discussion.
The era of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) proliferation is here, yet the United States’ policy largely blocks exporting these capabilities to allies and partners. As a result, nations important to U.S. interests are increasingly turning to other countries for their RPA requirements – often, China – and the U.S. risks falling behind as global leaders in this capability. The net result is that the U.S. could see key relationships weaken and influence wane in the very regions it seeks to promote stability and core American interests. Operations in Ukraine, which see Turkish TB2 UAVs helping turn the tide, not more capable U.S.-built systems, stands as the most illustrative recent example.
It is time for the administration to update U.S. RPA export policies. This can be done in ways that affirm the U.S. commitment to non-proliferation goals, regional stability, and other international norms.