GCTF Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems and New, Emerging, and Disruptive Technologies Initiative

The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and linkages with new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes is rapidly advancing.  Greater stakeholder understanding and informed action are required to address potential dual-use capabilities in counterterrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism.  As States grapple with how to embrace new and emerging technologies as they relate to UAS, terrorists will continue to exploit and leverage these technologies.  The GCTF has made strides in understanding the threat posed by UAS for terrorist purposes but more needs to be done.

As of September 2023, the GCTF Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum, co-led by the United Kingdom and United States, has been expanded to acknowledge the rapid pace at which new and emerging technologies are developing and their connection with UAS. The Initiative will include the potential security impact of three key types of emerging technologies:

  1. artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML);
  2. production of Small and Light Weapons (SALW) through 3D printing and related mechanisms; and
  3. the expanding nature of unmanned systems to sea, land, and air domains. 

This initiative will help the UAS community address and counter the nefarious use of enhanced capability unmanned systems by terrorists and highlight the legitimate uses of emerging unmanned systems capabilities, as well as security-related challenges associated with their integration into national and international environments.