NEWS ABOUT: military drones

White House Memo Argues Right to Kill Americans

Memo cites fight against al-Qaeda and laws of war

(Newser) - The Obama administration justified using drones to kill Americans suspected of terrorism overseas by citing the war against al-Qaeda and by saying a surprise attack against an American in a foreign land would not violate the laws of war, according to a previously secret government memorandum released today. The memo... More »

FAA Unveils 6 Drone Test Sites on American Soil

Alaska, Nevada, NY, ND, Texas, Virginia are the lucky winners

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states today that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the unmanned aircraft's march into US skies. The agency said Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia will host research sites. Drones have been mainly used by... More »

As Qaeda Surges, US Sends Iraq Arms—but Precious Few

75 Hellfire missiles and 10 drones won't do the trick: expert

(Newser) - A call for help from Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki has been answered, sort of: The US is sending dozens of missiles and drones to Iraq to help combat a burgeoning al-Qaeda that's driving the country's highest level of violence since 2008, the New York Times reports. The aid—... More »

Djibouti Kicks US Drones Out of Main Airport

Move follows several accidents, could hurt hunt for al-Shabab

(Newser) - It might have just gotten a little tougher for the US military to keep an eye on al-Shabab, the terrorist group behind the mall attack in Nairobi . The African nation of Djibouti has forced the US to remove a fleet of drones from a major military camp in the country,... More »

Al-Qaeda Engineers Take Aim at Drones: Secret File

No real success yet in quest to develop counterdrone strategy

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda has engineers, and those engineers have been handed a mission: Figure out how to mess with American drones. The Washington Post takes a look at the effort, noting right off the bat that there are thus far no indications that al-Qaeda has actually managed to take down or interfere... More »

New Drone Strike in Yemen Kills 4 Linked to al-Qaeda

Two civilians also reported dead as US hits convoy

(Newser) - At least four people linked to al-Qaeda are dead after a US drone strike targeted a two-vehicle convoy in Yemen's Mareb province at dawn today, security officials say. While Reuters reports the drones, seen circling the area after two vehicles went up in flames, killed as many as six... More »

CIA Too Busy With Drones to Spy: Report

Hagel panel says agency isn't gathering enough intel

(Newser) - US spy agencies have neglected intelligence gathering operations in strategically critical places like China, the Middle East, and elsewhere, because they've been too busy flying drone strikes and conducting quasi-combat operations, a classified report warned President Obama last year. The panel, headed by Chuck Hagel and former Sen. David... More »

US Jets Shoo Away Iran Plane Chasing Drone

Pentagon says craft was in international airspace

(Newser) - US and Iranian fighter pilots have had another close encounter. The Pentagon says an Iranian jet began following an unmanned surveillance drone in international airspace earlier this week, reports the Wall Street Journal . It didn't break off pursuit until two US jets approached within two miles of the Iranian... More »

Air Force Pulls Data on Drone Strikes From Website

'Air Force Times' says numbers were removed last month

(Newser) - With all this talk of drones lately, it might be interesting to know just how many airstrikes the military is unleashing with them in Afghanistan. The Air Force Times would love to tell you, and it should be able to tell you, because the Air Force makes the info public... More »

New Drone Medal's Rank 'Degrading', Say Veterans

Award for remote control operators outranks combat medals like Bronze Star

(Newser) - The Pentagon's new medal for drone operators has sparked a backlash from veterans whose medals were earned on the battlefield but are ranked lower than the Distinguished Warfare Medal, the Military Times reports. The new medal is higher in the military's "order of precedence" than the Bronze... More »

How This Drone Photo Came to Be

AP photographer explains her now-familiar image

(Newser) - It's become the go-to image for editors everywhere to illustrate stories about US drone strategy: A Predator drone flies over Kandahar's air field with a full moon in the background. (It shows up on Newser a lot, too.) With the image in wide circulation of late, Josh... More »

Yes, Obama's Drone War Is Legal

Even if the Justice Department made a lousy case: Charles Krauthammer

(Newser) - The Justice Department may have written some weak memos justifying President Obama's drone warfare , but the case for the program is solid, writes Charles Krauthammer in a rare defense of the president in the Washington Post . The conservative columnist says the drone debate involves three distinct questions—Does the... More »

Obama Only Transparent About 'the Last Guy': Stewart

Jon Stewart takes on leaked DOJ memo, drone killings

(Newser) - Jon Stewart is pretty freaked out by the leaked DOJ memo authorizing the US government to kill American citizens, he confessed last night on the Daily Show . First of all, there's the fact that those citizens must be determined to be an "imminent threat"—but the government'... More »

Secret Saudi Drone Base No Longer Secret

Revelation comes just ahead of John Brennan's confirmation hearing

(Newser) - And the drone-strike revelations keep coming . A number of US media outlets last night broke their silence about the location of a secret drone base used by the CIA to attack al-Qaeda in Yemen: Saudi Arabia. And CIA director-nominee John Brennan's name is all over the reports, just ahead... More »

Rights Group: Time to Ban Killer Robots

International treaty needed before it's too late, group says

(Newser) - The world needs to ban robots capable of killing without human input before they become a reality on the battlefield, a human rights group warns. Human Rights Watch and Harvard's International Human Rights Clinic are calling for an international treaty to ban the "development, production and use of... More »

Pentagon: Iran Fired on US Drone

But the attack failed to hit craft over Persian Gulf

(Newser) - An Iranian attack aircraft fired at least twice at an unarmed US drone conducting routine surveillance in international airspace over the Persian Gulf, the Pentagon said today. The aircraft missed, and the Predator drone returned to base unharmed. The Nov. 1 shooting is unprecedented, said Pentagon press secretary George Little.... More »

CIA Seeks to Expand Drone Fleet

Agency transforming into secret army?

(Newser) - The CIA is pressing the White House to significantly expand its fleet of armed drones, reports the Washington Post . More drones would boost the CIA's operations of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, and elsewhere when needed, and would continue to transform the secretive agency into a paramilitary force,... More »

Senate Panel OKs Cash for Unwanted Drones, Ships

$604B budget rejects Pentagon cost-cutting plans

(Newser) - With major Pentagon budget cuts looming, the Senate Appropriations Committee has decided to hand the military piles of money for stuff it says it doesn't want. A $604.5 billion defense budget approved by the powerful committee yesterday includes funding for drones, warships, and cargo planes that the Pentagon... More »

In Somalia Skies, a Dangerous Drone Traffic Jam

UN report cites close calls with banned military drones

(Newser) - The White House may barely acknowledge US operations in Somalia , but apparently there are so many drones zipping around the region that they are endangering local air traffic and perhaps violating a 1992 arms embargo, reports the Washington Post . A new UN report details narrowly averted disasters, including a near-miss... More »

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