Myanmar and Drone Warfare: National Unity or Endless Chaos

Myanmar and Drone Warfare: National Unity or Endless Chaos

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Authoritarianism and ethnic conflict in Myanmar flows decade after decade. Accordingly, the coup against State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and the ensuing bloodshed is all too predictable – even if depressing.

Aung San Suu Kyi was also betrayed by America and European democratic nations who spread propaganda by exonerating Islamic terrorist forces in Rakhine, who were openly killing Buddhists and other indigenous groups. Indeed, Bengali Islamists in Rakhine even killed Bengali Hindus – highlighting that nationalism came a clear second to the Islamization of this part of Myanmar. However, Aung San Suu Kyi was hounded by the Western media and politically correct forces in Western governments.

Amnesty International reports (2018), “A Rohingya armed group brandishing guns and swords is responsible for at least one, and potentially a second, massacre of up to 99 Hindu women, men, and children as well as additional unlawful killings and abductions of Hindu villagers in August 2017, Amnesty International revealed today after carrying out a detailed investigation inside Myanmar’s Rakhine State.”

The Rohingya are Bengalis whom the British sent to humiliate the indigenous Buddhists of Myanmar and were a tool to preserve British colonial power during the British Empire. However, the crisis in Rakhine entailed that Aung San Suu Kyi was rebuked internationally during a period when she sought to lay the foundations of democracy.

Accordingly, the coup leaders were encouraged by hostile international forces that played the “Muslim card” in Rakhine – and gradually, the path of democracy under Aung San Suu Kyi was crushed. Therefore, Myanmar is once more in a bleak place.


Since the coup, ethnic tensions have increased in several parts of the country and opposition forces against the rulers of Myanmar are increasing their attacks against the army, the police, and ordinary people connected to the government (no utopian militia ever existed where innocent civilians weren’t killed).

In the opposite direction, innocent civilians continue to be killed by the armed forces – and bloodshed against opposition forces and various ethnic groups is a daily reality. At the same time, several ethnic groups are entrenching their power concentration over their respective areas of control.

Drone warfare is also increasing in Myanmar. Recently, one drone attack killed a senior army officer and others in eastern areas of Myanmar along the border.

Associated Press reports, “The attack, carried out Sunday evening in two stages, is believed to be the deadliest aerial bombing targeting high-ranking security and administrative officials since armed resistance was launched more than two years ago against the military that seized power in February 2021 from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.”

This drone attack was committed by allies of the PDF (People’s Defense Force). Other drone attacks by the Federal Wings (in cooperation with the PDF) have happened. They are the armed wing of the shadow political National Unity Government.

The Irrawaddy reports, “Many types of commercial drones have been used widely and effectively by resistance groups and allied ethnic armed organizations nationwide to bomb regime targets and surveillance operations.”

Lt-General Yar Pyae (the Home Affairs Minister) agreed that drones are a current challenge to the armed forces. Hence, upgrades within the capabilities of the armed forces will be increased.

In 2022, drone units claimed to have completed 642 attacks in the states of Kayah and Kayin – and the regions of Magway and Sagaing.

Radio Free Asia reports, “Kyaw Zaw, the spokesperson for the office of shadow National Unity Government President Duwa Lashi La, told RFA that it plans to add additional funding in 2023 for drone units through a program initiated through its ministry of defense named Project Skywalk.”


Ordinary citizens have suffered endlessly in Myanmar for many decades. Naturally, some ethnic groups have lost more people in decades-old military campaigns. However, endless distrust and hatred are tearing the country apart and the status quo entails more deaths and the possibility of disintegration.

Aung San Suu Kyi is the  “ray of hope” to return the country to democracy – without potent military strings that hindered the last transitional period before the coup.

Equally, she is the only person who can build bridges on all sides. Accordingly, despite her confinement by the current rulers of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi’s political skills and past sacrifices (and current) are known throughout the country.

Compromises are needed irrespective of mutual hatred and mistrust.

Under the prevailing conditions, the cycle of poverty can’t be broken. All that awaits is more death from war and the possibility of becoming a failed state.

Only national unity and the power dynamics of the military being reduced can enable a reset.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi’s website and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News