CIA requests more drones to cover broader geographic area

CIA Director David Petraeus has submitted a proposal to the White House requesting that it add about 10 additional drones to the agency's inventory that would enable it to independently carry out more sustained reconnaissance and attack missions without having to rely on borrowing additional unmanned aircraft from the Pentagon, reports the Washington Post.

The additional drones would allow the CIA to maintain missions over thousands of miles of territory that include al-Qaeda hot spots such as Pakistan, Yemen and potentially parts of North Africa should CIA involvement continue to expand in that region.

The move marks a key milestone in the CIA's continuing transformation into a paramilitary force, the story said. The White House's decision on whether to approve the expansion of the CIA's unmanned aerial fleet has important implications, officials said in the story. If approved, the move would serve to endorse the CIA's role in identifying terrorist targets and carrying out armed strikes against those terrorist targets overseas, the story said.

The CIA already has between 30 and 35 drones, the story said.


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