Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

CIA seeks new bases for deadly drones

Press TV – February 17, 2014

The US Central Intelligence Agency is seeking new drone bases in unnamed countries in Central Asia, fearing the full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would affect the targeted killings in neighboring Pakistan.

The spy agency asserts that if the US fails to sign a bilateral security deal with Afghanistan and secure an enduring military presence there, it would not be able to fly drones from its Afghan bases because drone operations are covert and need US military protection.

The security deal, which Washington says “ought to be signed” and is not renegotiable, could allow thousands of US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

However, despite pressures from the White House and Congress, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has so far refused to sign the deal and the US intelligence community is hoping that the next Afghan president will agree to sign it.

Worried that its drone killings can become a casualty of strained relations between Kabul and Washington, the CIA is reportedly making contingency plans to use bases in other countries.

“There are contingency plans for alternatives in the north,” an unnamed US official briefed on the matter told the Los Angeles Times without specifying the countries.

According to Brian Glyn Williams, a University of Massachusetts professor, the CIA and the Pentagon used to fly drones from an airbase in Uzbekistan until the US was evicted in 2005.

Michael Nagata, commander of US special operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, also traveled last month to Tajikistan, which is Afghanistan’s northern neighbor, to discuss “issues of bilateral security cooperation” and “continued military cooperation.”

Meanwhile, US officials say a new jet-powered drone, called Avenger, which will be able to “get to ‘hot’ targets in Pakistan much faster,” could soon be flying from bases outside Afghanistan.

The CIA is in charge of drone strikes in Pakistan since the country is not officially a war zone and the CIA’s program is covert.

US President Barack Obama has already stated that the responsibility for Washington’s deadly drone attacks could gradually shift from the CIA to the Pentagon. However, the idea of putting the US military in charge of drone attacks is not favored by US lawmakers.

February 17, 2014 - Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.