US Worldwide deployment
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The special medal for the Pentagon’s drone operators and cyberwarriors didn’t last long. Two months after the military rolled out the Distinguished Warfare Medal for troops who don’t set foot on the battlefield, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has concluded it was a bad idea. Some veterans and some lawmakers spoke out against the award, arguing that it was unfair to make the medal a higher honor than some issued for valor on the battlefield.
Obama's war by drone
Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. New American Oct 12, 2012 Defense contractor Northrop Grumman, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center reported on October 8 that they are moving closer to the day when drones can stay airborne indefinitely, refueled by other unmanned aerial vehicles without human assistance. The test flights conducted between January 11 and May 30 involved the use of two Global Hawk drones — “one configured as a tanker and the other as a receiver.”
Two-thirds of National Journal 's National Security Insiders believe that the Obama administration's increasing use of drone strikes to kill terrorism suspects overseas is the right approach—but many cautioned that Washington should not overuse the tactic. “The drone strike tactic … cuts both ways. Kills terrorists and infrastructure but reinforces view of some that U.S. is at war with Islam,” said one Insider who supports the accelerated use of drone strikes targeting militants in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. “[We] need to develop local allies to fight and control territory."
The mission of the downed drone remains unclear. Iran, a longtime adversary of the United States, is believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to be pursuing the development of a nuclear weapon and is also accused of providing support to anti-coalition elements in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The RQ-170 has been used by the CIA for highly sensitive missions into other nations’ airspace, including months of surveillance of the compound in Pakistan in which Osama bin Laden was hiding before he was killed in a May raid by Special Operations forces.
They increasingly dot the planet. There’s a facility outside Las Vegas where “pilots” work in climate-controlled trailers, another at a dusty camp in Africa formerly used by the French Foreign Legion, a third at a big air base in Afghanistan where Air Force personnel sit in front of multiple computer screens, and a fourth at an air base in the United Arab Emirates that almost no one talks about. And that leaves at least 56 more such facilities to mention in an expanding American empire of unmanned drone bases being set up worldwide. Despite frequent news reports on the drone assassination campaign launched in support of America’s ever-widening undeclared wars and a spate of stories on drone bases in Africa and the Middle East, most of these facilities have remained unnoted, uncounted, and remarkably anonymous -- until now.