The future of warfare is drones, and no one knows the rules to play by

This from a piece by Jane Perlez of the NY Times: 

The drone incident, according to a Pentagon account, began when a Chinese Navy vessel that was shadowing the Bowditch — a common practice in the South China Sea — pulled up not far from the ship. It then dispatched a small boat to seize the drone as the American crew was recovering it from the water. The Pentagon described the vehicle as an unclassified “ocean glider” system used to gather military oceanographic data such as salinity, water temperature and sound speed.

An American naval expert did not disagree with Mr. Wu’s notion of what the Americans were probably doing. “Warfare and surveillance in the age of drones has not yet developed an agreed-upon set of rules,” said Lyle J. Goldstein, an associate professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute at the United States Naval War College, in Rhode Island.

“This is increasingly a major problem as both China and the U.S. are deploying ever more air and naval drones into the contested waters and airspace of the Western Pacific,” he said.

As we get closer to a future without men on the battlefield, the rules by which we play by when it comes to drones will need to be laid out. It is only a matter of time until there is a major international incident because of a drone strike.