Ask the experts: Drones

Is there any indication of cost effectiveness and / or life preservation by the use of drone strikes?

Ryan Calo: It turns out that the bigger military drones used to deploy missiles are expensive; one government report suggested that the costs associated with owning and maintaining certain drones were comparable to manned aircraft.  But they do lower the risks to American soldiers and, some say, to foreign citizens (by lowering collateral damage).  Smaller scout planes like the Raven are much less expensive and, by most accounts, very useful.