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IPFS News Link • Drones

UK Involvement In US' Secret Drone War Revealed


The US' secret drone war has largely been shrouded in mystery since its inception. Despite its secrecy there is no denying that the US drone program represents one of Obama's most dangerous legacies as president – essentially enshrining extrajudicial assassination as a cornerstone US foreign policy with no accountability. Obama has consistently argued publicly that the drone war is necessary as it results in less civilian casualties than conventional warfare. However, the way in which the program measures civilian casualties is disingenuous as anyone killed in the strikes is labeled as an "enemy killed in action" unless it can be proven otherwise, a nearly impossible feat for the people of the rural areas that are most frequently bombed. To make matters worse, most of these bombings take place in countries that the US is not at war with, meaning that a formal declaration of war is no longer necessary for US military operations abroad. However, new evidence suggests that the US isn't conducting this deadly and illegal program alone as the United Kingdom is intimately involved.

According to documents obtained by the UK-based rights group Reprieve, the UK military has been working with the US to select the targets of the drone campaign. At RAF Molesworth, a UK military base leased to the US, the US employed a "MQ-9 REAPER [drone] ISR Mission Intelligence Coordinator" while a private military contractor advertised for an "All Source Analyst – Targeting" to work at the same base. For years, the UK government has refused to confirm if the base plays a role in the covert drone war though they have said that "the US does not operate RPAS [drones] from the UK." However, they have refused to answer questions about the UK's role in choosing targets and creating the US "kill list."