As the Obama administration dials back the number of drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, the U.S. military is shifting its huge fleet of unmanned aircraft to other hot spots around the world. This next phase of drone warfare is focused more on spying than killing and will extend the Pentagon’s robust surveillance networks far beyond traditional, declared combat zones. ...WaPo
The widening of the use of drones now involves other continents and new areas in Asia.
In Africa, the U.S. Air Force began flying unarmed drones over the Sahara five months ago to track al-Qaeda fighters and rebels in northern Mali. The Pentagon has also set up drone bases in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Seychelles. Even so, the commander of U.S. forces in Africa told Congress in February that he needed a 15-fold increase in surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering on the continent.
In an April speech, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said the Pentagon is planning for the first time to send Reaper drones — a bigger, faster version of the Predator — to parts of Asia other than Afghanistan. He did not give details. ...WaPo
And the Pacific. Headed for the Americas.
In South and Central America, U.S. military commanders have long pined for drones to aid counternarcotics operations. ...WaPo
We are so generous. Keeping the rest of the world peaceful and drug-free. Etc. As one commenter at the Post notes, maybe Obama will win another Nobel Peace award.