US remote control terror recruitment
Without drawing too much attention, the US has been stepping up its military presence in Africa, as the number of drone bases has vastly increased in recent years.
The US is aggressively expanding its drone war, setting up more and more bases for the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) armed with laser-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. A network of drone bases is unfolding in East Africa. Ethiopia is hosting a fleet of “hunter-killers”, as they call them in the military. A similar installation has opened in the Seychelles and a new base in under construction in the Arabian Peninsula to enable more flights over Yemen. All this, US officials say, is being done to target Al-Qaeda affiliates in the region.
The MQ-1B Predator drone, which is used in most of the US military operations abroad, is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned aircraft system. The Predator's primary missions are close air support, air interdiction, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and target acquisition. It the Multi-spectral Targeting System which integrates an infrared sensor, a color/monochrome daylight TV camera, an image-intensified TV camera, a laser designator and a laser illuminator into a single package. The aircraft can employ two laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
Drones have become the main weapon of America’s undeclared wars. It is a new kind of warfare, the one the US is waging without sacrificing the lives of their soldiers in a number of countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Libya.
In Pakistan, US drone strikes have killed thousands of civilians and have netted only a handful of actual terrorists. The victims’ loved ones often seek revenge by joining radical groups.
These tactics have therefore become a vicious circle – the US seems to be fighting terror and provoking terror at the same time.
Whether or not the policies make America safer is debatable. On top of the human cost and boomerang-effect of those often indiscriminate strikes, there is also a price tag of such rapid growing extension that involves billions of dollars of US taxpayers’ money.
The US is on the verge of another recession; 14 million people are jobless and one in six Americans live on food stamps. It may seem outrageous that with gigantic debt problems, a sluggish economy and three wars at hand, American officials still lavish money on military projects. According to some experts, the policy may backfire on the US’s own security.