October 19, 2012
An article, in this morning’s Washington Post reports that CIA chief General David H. Petraeus has requested permission for his agency to acquire ten more unmanned drones. The CIA currently has an estimated 30-35 drones of several types in its inventory, about one-third of which are forward deployed at any one time at airfields in Afghanistan to conduct strikes against al Qaeda targets in northern Pakistan. Another pair of drones are deployed fulltime at an undisclosed airbase somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, believed to be located in Oman.
According to the article, the CIA needs more drones not only because of the expanding number of drone strikes being conducted in Yemen, but also because of possible new requirements for these sorts of covert operations elsewhere around the world. Interestingly, the article indicates that the Pentagon is not opposing an expansion in the size of the CIA’s drone arsenal.
- matthewaid posted this