|Day or Night they Spy|
The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency's fleet of armed drones, a move that would extend the spy service's decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force, US officials say. The proposal by the CIA director, David Petraeus, would bolster the agency's ability to sustain its campaigns of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and enable it, if directed, to shift aircraft to emerging al-Qaeda threats in North Africa or other trouble spots, officials said.
If approved, the CIA could add 10 drones, the officials said, to an inventory that has ranged between 30 and 35 during recent years. The outcome has broad implications for counterterrorism policy and whether the CIA gradually returns to an organisation focused mainly on gathering intelligence, or remains a central player in the targeted killing of terrorism suspects abroad.
Human Hunting Robots?