Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Predator role fits diplomatic, military bill

New Predator role fits diplomatic, military bill: "
President Barack Obama's decision to use unmanned Predator drones in Libya widened what had become very limited U.S. participation in the air war, but the aircraft credited with taking out terrorist leaders in western Pakistan probably won't prove decisive against Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

Sending just two remotely piloted Predators, each with two Hellfire missiles designed to pierce armor, over Libya 24 hours a day is far from a game-changing addition to an air campaign that features an array of high-flying French, British and other European jets bombing Libyan ground targets and enforcing a no-fly zone.

The small scale of this Predator deployment suggests that drones, while effective, have a downside. The weapon has become a detested symbol of U.S. military might in Pakistan, where their use is tolerated by the U.S.-backed government but widely criticized by Pakistanis. Afghan President Hamid Karzai sometimes has decried the use of U.S. drones, which he blames for civilian deaths.


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