US Civilians Are Now Helping Decide Who To Kill With Military Drones
December 31, 2011
President Obama’s enormous expansion of the U.S. drone program may be pushing too fast for military staffing to keep up.
David S. Cloud of The Los Angeles Times reports the military is now forced to rely on a string of civilian contractors placed at all levels along the “kill chain.” These are the people who analyze incoming drone video and decide when to fire Hellfire missiles.
The practice is not new.
According to Cloud, an American civilian played a “central” role in the Predator attack that accidentally killed 15 Afghans in 2010, information that “surprised” the investigating Army officer.
Manning the drone fleet is a mounting issue in the Air Force.