Drones show up in war because they're cheap, easy to use, and available around the world.
I just read your informative and well-written article in Foreign Policy. Not too many of the people who write about the kinds of things you do are also good writers. You are.
There was a 60 Minutes piece on Israeli UAVs ca. 1988, and then some Iraqis surrendered to a drone from the USS New Jersey in 1991. Both were developed from R/C components as I recall. A civilian imitation of military aircraft, repurposed as miltary aircraft. What's most interesting from a historical perspective is how completely democratic the technology already is. Victory, more and more, is an electromagnetic spectrum battle. I am particularly interested in anything you might write about the emerging EM environment in which those tactical drones operate.