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News Link • Drones

The End of Drone War?

• By Philip Giraldi
The Obama administration is facing complete collapse of its counterterrorism strategy in South Asia as it fails to ratify a new status of forces agreement with Afghanistan. Yet many intelligence insiders consider the failure to be a good thing.
The administration erred in constructing its capability to counter the terrorist threat largely around the use of drones, which are politically appealing in that they do not require placing soldiers in harm’s way and are relatively cheap. In order to be effective, however, drones have to be close enough to target areas to enable them to spend considerable time hovering, and they are dependent on their bases, a fact that produces its own logistical and political complications. The maintenance of the bases depends on the connivance of host countries in the region, and the security of the facilities has to be guaranteed by the presence of thousands of American soldiers, numbers that might not be available by the end of the year. There is also strong Pentagon opposition to stationing thousands of combat troops in a country largely to protect other U.S. government facilities.

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