What is the political equilibrium when insect-sized drone assassins are available?

Not bee drones, rather drone drones, with military and terrorist capabilities.  There is already a (foiled) terror plot using model airplanes.  How easy would it be to stop a mechanical “bee” which injects a human target with rapidly-acting poison?  You can see the problem.

I have considered a few possibilities:

1. Insect-sized drones won’t make a big difference, because there are few wannabe assassins in any case.  Similarly, not many people organize random attacks in shopping malls today, or try to drop poison in supermarket jars, even though such attacks are not technologically difficult.

2. Not getting caught makes all the difference, and the insect-sized drones will be hard to trace.  All high-status figures who appear in public will be assassinated, so they stop appearing in public.  (Where does this line get drawn?  Can lieutenant governors appear in public?  Or does the highest status individual who appears in public get assassinated in any case?)

3. We set up drone zappers around the rings of all major cities and high status figures stay within the confines of these safety zones.  The travel industry takes a hit, as does the population of starlings.  Still, some hostile drones get through the zappers and conduct some assassinations.

4. As with nuclear weapons, only the United States and other wealthy, respectable countries will have access to insect-sized drones.

5. Terror groups will be negligible in size, insider trading motives will be weak (CEOs are potential victims too), and a rationale of mutually assured insect destruction will prevail.

None of these sound especially assuring.  Here is a brief survey on insect-sized drones.  Here are additional readings.

As I once wrote, someday we may be longing for the era of the great stagnation.


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