Intervention ‘without the need to consider the human cost’: MoD thinking on UK’s new drone revealed

7 December 2020 — Drone Wars

Tim Street

Documents obtained by Drone Wars using the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) reveal how British military officials view the UK’s next generation armed drone, known as Protector, and the types of advanced capabilities the aircraft will have. Protector, which is set to replace the UK’s current fleet of armed Reaper drones in the mid-2020s, is essentially SkyGuardian—the latest version of the Predator drone being produced by General Atomics—plus UK modifications. The modifications revealed in the FOI documents (comprising presentations given by UK military personnel at a drone technology conference held last September) are significant because they provide an insight into how the Ministry of Defence (MOD) plan to utilise Protector.  Looking more widely, Protector epitomises the second drone age, characterised by a global expansion in both the type of drones being used by states and the scale of operations, including in the domestic sphere.

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Cost of UK air and drone strikes in Iraq and Syria reach £1.75 billion By Chris Cole

26 February 2018 — Drone Wars

Analysis of figures released in response to Freedom of Information requests by Drone Wars UK indicate that the UK has spent £1.75bn on armed air missions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria since August 2014. It should be noted that the overall cost of UK military operations in Iraq and Syria will be much higher.

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2018: British armed drone operations reach a crossroads By Chris Cole

2 January 2018 — Drone Wars

In December 2017 the RAF announced that British Reaper drones had reached the significant milestone of flying 100,000 hours of combat operations. First deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and, on operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria since 2014, the UK’s Reapers have been continuously engaged in surveillance and strike operations for a decade. However, with the collapse of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, ten years of continuous drone operations should be coming to an end. But statements by British government ministers as well as senior military officers indicate that the UK wants its Reapers to continue to fly, seemingly indefinitely.

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The A-Z of Drones 2013 Part 1 By Chris Cole

24 December 2013 —

letter_aIt was good to see large numbers turn out at a big protest at Parc Aberporth, the drone test centre in West Wales, in September as the owners announced a big expansion. It was even better to see Yemeni journalist  Abdulelah Haider Shaye released from prison even though he is still under virtual house arrest.  Phase two of the UK government-industry programme, ASTRAEA, which aims to open up UK airspace to civil drones, came to an end this year.  While the drone lobby is keeping up the  pressure the public remain extremely sceptical.   News that British drones may be heading to Africa came as a big surprise, and will no doubt be a focus of campaigning in the coming year. Continue reading

Isn't it time to stop drone wars?

4 October, 2012 — Voice of Russia

The inefficiency of drone attacks as a means of a war against terrorists have already been criticized by many scientists and military experts.

The US claims that the killing of its ambassador in the Libyan city of Benghazi was allegedly thoroughly planned by the northern African branch of Al-Qaeda. Now, the US is planning a response to these alleged terrorists. Two US drones, “Predator” and “Reaper,” will be sent to Libya very soon.

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Stop NATO News: November 25, 2011


  • Reward For Russian Appeasement Of U.S., NATO Is Futility
  • GCC-Controlled Arab League Issues Syria 48-Hour Ultimatum
  • BRICS Nations Demand No External Interference In Syria, Iran
  • NATO Missile Shield In Turkey ‘Israel’s Eye’ Over Middle East: Iranian Official
  • Kosovo: NATO Troops Retreat, Serbs At Barricades
  • NATO-Ukraine Committee Charts Further Cooperation, Integration
  • Armenia: NATO Experts Group ‘Assists’ Ministry Of Defense
  • U.S. Senator Calls On U.S., NATO To Support Kenya’s Invasion Of Somalia
  • Ethiopia To Join Expanded Military Intervention In Somalia
  • Ohio: Predator Drones New Mainstay For Local Economy

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Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 24, 2011

24 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • EU Defense Chiefs: Learn Lessons Of Libya War For Future Operations
  • Pakistan: 52 Drone Strikes Kill 463 So Far This Year
  • U.S. To Deploy Predator Drones In Turkey: Prime Minister
  • GUAM: Azerbaijan-Georgia-Moldova-Romania Pipeline Plans
  • 42 New Warplanes: U.S. Commander Eyes ‘Interoperable’ Japanese Fighter Fleet
  • NATO Not Welcome: Russia Bolsters Arctic Forces

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Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 18, 2011

18 August 2011 — Stop NATO

  • U.S. Deploys Two More Predator Drones For NATO’s Libyan War
  • NATO To Test European Interceptor Missile Initial Operational Capability
  • 246,000 U.S. Troops Abroad: ‘Space Has Revolutionized How We Fight’
  • 1.2 Million Combat Hours: Robots To Give Pentagon Casualty-Free Wars
  • U.S. Navy On Arctic: Facing New Ocean For First Time In 500 Years
  • Kosovo: U.S. Backs Valued Ally Thaci, ‘Rule Of Law’
  • NATO’s New Maritime Strategy: Prowling The World’s Waterways

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The DIY Terminator: Private Robot Armies And The Algorithm-Run Future Of War By Greg Lindsay

1 August, 2011 — Fast Company

In the latest installment of the Butterfly Effect: Predator drones are just the start of unmanned, autonomous warfare technology. But as the tech becomes more democratized and more deadly, what happens when anyone can assemble an army of killing machines? Continue reading

Decade Of The Drone: America’s Aerial Assassins By Rick Rozoff

10 March, 2010 — Global ResearchStop NATO – 2010-03-09

2010 is the last year of the new century and millennium and is the tenth consecutive year of the United States war in Afghanistan and in the 15-nation area of responsibility subsumed under Operation Enduring Freedom. In early March American military deaths in the Greater Afghan War theater Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen surpassed the 1,000 mark.

This year is also the tenth year of the first ground and the first Asian war fought by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which wages wars from and not to protect the nations of the northern Atlantic Ocean.

2010 is the tenth and deadliest year in Washingtons use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for targeted assassinations and untargeted collateral damage.

Originally designed for battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance, albeit often to call in lethal military strikes, drones have been employed by the U.S. since 2001 to identify and kill human targets.

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Welcome Home, War! Creating the “Domestic Surveillance State” By Prof. Alfred W. McCoy

16 November, 2009 — Global ResearchTom Dispatch – 2009-11-12

How America’s Wars Are Systematically Destroying Our Liberties

In his approach to National Security Agency surveillance, as well as CIA renditions, drone assassinations, and military detention, President Obama has to a surprising extent embraced the expanded executive powers championed by his conservative predecessor, George W. Bush. This bipartisan affirmation of the imperial executive could “reverberate for generations,” warns Jack Balkin, a specialist on First Amendment freedoms at Yale Law School. And consider these but some of the early fruits from the hybrid seeds that the Global War on Terror has planted on American soil. Yet surprisingly few Americans seem aware of the toll that this already endless war has taken on our civil liberties.

Don’t be too surprised, then, when, in the midst of some future crisis, advanced surveillance methods and other techniques developed in our recent counterinsurgency wars migrate from Baghdad, Falluja, and Kandahar to your hometown or urban neighborhood. And don’t ever claim that nobody told you this could happen — at least not if you care to read on.

Think of our counterinsurgency wars abroad as so many living laboratories for the undermining of a democratic society at home, a process historians of such American wars can tell you has been going on for a long, long time. Counterintelligence innovations like centralized data, covert penetration, and disinformation developed during the Army’s first protracted pacification campaign in a foreign land — the Philippines from 1898 to 1913 — were repatriated to the United States during World War I, becoming the blueprint for an invasive internal security apparatus that persisted for the next half century.

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