Is the USA ‘looking to get out of the business of secret drone strikes’?

The UN has delivered a withering verdict on the US’s human rights record, reported in the Guardian.

It raised concerns about issues including torture, drone strikes, the failure to close Guantánamo Bay and the NSA’s bulk collection of personal data. Reacting to adverse reactions worldwide, the British media emphasises the peaceful uses of drones and the USA seeks an alternative.

. . . for fear of finding something worse?

Ars Technica, a publication for technologists and IT professionals, asserts that the USA is “looking to get out of the business of secret drone strikes “. It is preparing to give the Yemeni Air Force its own, lower-tech equivalent of the Predator and Reaper for carrying out “targeted killing” operations:

Air Tractor

Air Tractor

”According to documents obtained by Buzzfeed’s Aram Roston, the US will provide a squadron of 10 aircraft originally designed as crop dusters, which are now equipped for a wholly different sort of reaping”.

drone replacement doc

After giving technical detail, the report continues:

“While weapons are not part of the first round of deliveries, the ability to incorporate them is. The required weapons capabilities include the ability to launch or drop Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs. They should also be “capable of carrying/employing [a] .50 cal gun,” according to a US Central Command memo on the program published by Buzzfeed”.

american hubris2Yemenis will fly the planes, but Buzzfeed reports that an anonymous source said they will be paired with US Air Force personnel, either as pilots or weapons operators. The Air Force crew members will likely be from the Sixth Special Operations Squadron, a unit that specializes in training and “combat aviation advisory” operations.

When will this rogue state listen to its citizens and adopt a peaceful role in the world?

This entry was posted in Human rights, International law, UN, US government, USA, Yemen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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