In an environment where most individuals are not combatants (think: Baghdad or Kabul), autonomous weapons inability to assess individual intention make their presence on the battlefield an international legal liability.
It seems somewhat sinister that any private citizen could use an unmanned aerial vehicle for no legitimate purpose. We already have the government spying on us. Do we need our neighbors stalking us as well?
Leon Panetta recently announced the creation of the "the Distinguished Warfare Medal" to recognize outstanding achievements by unmanned aerial vehicle pilots. Yet how can one evaluate acts in war when the fighter is not on the battlefield and is in no physical danger?
Are they helping us to win wars, or are they essentially prolonging wars that are ultimately unwinnable? So far, it appears that drones aren't decisive. They're merely instrumental. They're instrumental in keeping us in a losing cause.