Drones

1:47pm

Thu February 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Drone Program Under Scrutiny As CIA Nominee Testifies

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 4:44 am

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, prepares to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Update at 5:35 pm ET. Brennan on drones:

As senators questioned John Brennan, the nominee to head the CIA, one of the recurring themes was the broader impact of the lethal drone strikes.

Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, asked whether the Obama administration was killing terrorists who might otherwise be captured and interrogated.

Brennan insisted that it was always preferable to capture and question terrorists to gather intelligence, and he said lethal strikes were taken as a last resort.

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3:39pm

Wed February 6, 2013
The Two-Way

Air Base In Saudi Arabia Is Latest Drone Secret To Be Revealed

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:50 am

John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director, worked closely with Saudi Arabia to set up a secret U.S. drone base there, The New York Times reported. Brennan's confirmation hearing is Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

The Obama administration says lethal airstrikes, delivered stealthily by drones, have been a major success in its counterterrorism efforts. But the administration has been much less successful in keeping secret the details of the often controversial drone program.

Last May, Foreign Policy published this story providing details on 12 U.S. drone bases spread across three continents, from the Seychelles to the Philippines.

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1:18am

Thu January 31, 2013
It's All Politics

Cabinet Picks Show A Shift In How U.S. Wages War

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 6:34 am

President Obama shakes hands with his nominee to head the Defense Department, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, at the White House on Jan. 7. John Brennan, Obama's choice for director of the CIA, looks on.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Chuck Hagel, who spent more than a decade in the Senate asking witnesses questions at hearings, will be the one answering them Thursday as his confirmation hearing to be secretary of defense begins.

His hearing follows that of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was confirmed this week to be secretary of state.

Kerry and Hagel have a prominent biographical detail in common: service in Vietnam.

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2:24pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Africa

U.S. May Build Base For Drones In Northwest Africa

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to head west now, from Egypt across Libya to Niger. The Pentagon has signed a deal with the government there. The agreement could allow the U.S. to establish a forward base in Niger so that it could operate drone aircraft across northern and western Africa. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been reporting on the U.S. military's growing presence on the continent. He joins me now here in the studio.

And Tom, how close is the U.S. to actually setting up a drone base in Niger?

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1:41am

Tue January 22, 2013
All Tech Considered

This Defense Contractor Has A Green Side

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:06 am

AeroVironment's Raven drone is used for military surveillance and can be launched by hand.
Courtesy of AeroVironment Inc.

Lots of companies make products that don't have much in common, but AeroVironment specializes in two products that are very different — electric vehicle chargers, which keep cars like the Nissan Leaf on the road, and military drones. The Los Angeles-area firm is a leading manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft.

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