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Drone War Developments

The U.S. military is abandoning an airbase in Pakistan that was reportedly being used to wage a part of the drone campaign against Taliban and al Qaeda militants in the boarderlands between that country and Afghanistan. The move comes in the wake of a skirmish between Pakistani and NATO forces, which left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead.

Also over the weekend, the Iranian government announced that it had shot down a U.S. spy drone. Tehran claimed to have brought down a stealthy  RQ-170, the type reportedly used in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Washington said today that there was no indication that the drone was brought down by hostile fire.

We’ve discussed various aspects of the drone campaign frequently on the program, including its legal, political, and military implications.

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  • leftofcenter

    Did you know that you can now get a bachelor’s degree in “drone technology”?

  • Hidan

    NPR’s domestic drone commercial
    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/06/nprs_domestic_drone_commercial/singleton/

    Drones coming to a town near you.

  • Nic

    I’ve heard that it was recovered by the Iranians mostly intact.  I’m not sure what the level is of Iran’s drone plane programs, if they have any.  But we’d be better off if the thing had been mostly destroyed when they recovered it.

  • Anonymous

    Why doesn’t WBUR require real names on the comments section?
    Why anonymity?

  • Joe Silvia

    Quality and Quantity are in a practical sense opposing concepts.
    As the use of Drones proliferates beyond the limited access of the highly qualified and mission oriented it will fall fate to the abuses that any overly expanded technology does. The SR-71
    performed relatively flawlessly throughout its lifespan because the asset was held close. As this trickles down to local law enforcement and beyond the potential for misuse is epic. 

  • Frank

    Martin Niemoller:
     
    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.
     
    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.
     
    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.
     
    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.
     
    When they came for me,
    There was no one left to speak out.
     
    Is there anything else to be said??
    Frank Treu
    Andover Vermont

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