Drones

3:08pm

Sun August 26, 2012
National Security

Obama's Warfare: 'From Power To A Policy'

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:30 pm

A boy watches a group of Afghan and U.S. commandos in their up armored Humvee in Shindand Afghanistan. The special forces have become more prominent in the U.S. war effort.
David Gilkey NPR

It's hard to know if 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a target or collateral damage.

Al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was killed last fall at a barbeque with friends. His father, Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida supporter and also American-born, was killed in a drone strike two weeks earlier in Yemen.

The two of them, plus one more man, now make three Americans — three of thousands — who are believed to have been killed by America's top secret drone warfare program.

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11:50am

Fri August 24, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Drone Strike Kills 18 In Pakistan, Security Officials Say

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 12:24 pm

Pakistani security officials say that a United States drone strike has killed 18 suspected militants today in the northwest part of the country. The attack is the fifth of its kind in a week.

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4:25am

Thu August 2, 2012
National Security

Drones: From War Weapon To Homemade Toy

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:19 pm

In this Jan. 8, 2009, photo provided by the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff's Department, a small Draganflyer X6 drone makes a test flight in Mesa County, Colo. with a Forward Looking Infrared payload. The drone, which was on loan to the sheriff's department from the manufacturer, measures about 36 inches from rotor tip to rotor tip, weights just over two pounds.
Mesa County Sheriff's Dept. AP

Drones transformed the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. But their use has been extremely limited in U.S. skies. The Federal Aviation Administration essentially bans the commercial use of drones, and government use is still highly restricted.

But that's changing.

For a long time, drones, which are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were exotic, expensive and out of reach for all but military users. Today, however, a clever hobbyist can have his own eye in the sky.

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3:42pm

Fri June 15, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Acknowledges Military Action In Yemen And Somalia

Drone strikes against members of al-Qaida in Yemen and Somalia have been widely reported. But for the first time, the White House has publicly acknowledged these operations.

The administration said the U.S. had taken "direct action" in both countries in a six-month report on U.S. combat operations required by the War Powers Resolution.

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12:58am

Tue June 12, 2012
National Security

As Drone Strikes Grow, So Do Concerns Over Use

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 8:28 am

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan on Jan. 31, 2010. Drones have become the U.S. weapon of choice in the fight against terrorism. But as the technology of this new form of warfare improves, so do concerns about how others will use it in the future.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Without question, drones have become the U.S. weapon of choice in the fight against terrorism. Counterterrorism officials say they've come to rely on the pilotless aircraft for their surveillance capability and what officials say is precision targeting. That reliance has led to greater use in the past couple of years, especially in Pakistan and Yemen.

John Bellinger, a State Department legal adviser during the George W. Bush administration, says there are increasing concerns about the frequency of drone attacks.

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