details the Pentagon's new plan to increase daily drone flights by
half, raising serious questions about the future of military drone
strikes. The Pentagon currently directs 61 daily drone flights, almost
all of which are used for remote surveillance. The expansion would give
the Pentagon even more reconnaissance data, expanding capacity in new
programs from the Army and special contractors.
Only a vanishingly small percentage of the flights involve actual
strikes, but they'll provide a crucial first step for strikes in new
regions, which will require reconnaissance feeds for targeting and
command support. Notably, many of the future reconnaissance efforts are
intended to monitor operations in Ukraine and the South China Sea. Thus
far, drone strikes have been largely confined to Yemen, Somalia,
Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The new uptick in reconnaissance missions
also won't affect the CIA's ongoing drone program, which has remained the most controversial, secretive, and deadly of the US's drone operations. | The Verge
Pentagon to expand drone flights by 50% in next 4 years — RT USA
US military will increase the number of drone flights from the current
61 a day to as many as 90 by 2019 while expanding lethal strike
drone program, operated mostly by the US Air Force, will allow for
broadened surveillance and intelligence gathering from Ukraine and North
Africa to Iraq and the South China Sea.
"We've seen a steady demand signal from all of our geographic combatant commanders to have more of this capability," Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters at Pentagon.
The move would mark the most expansion within the drone program since 2011.