News / Africa

US Military Relocates Drone Fleet From Djibouti Base

US Military Relocates Drone Fleet From Djibouti Basei
X
September 25, 2013 8:21 PM
The Pentagon says it is moving its fleet of drones off Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti - the only U.S. military base in Africa. VOA Pentagon Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports the U.S. decision comes as U.S. officials adjust their overall strategy for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Luis Ramirez
— The Pentagon says it is moving its fleet of drones off Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti - the only U.S. military base in Africa. The change comes as U.S. officials adjust their overall strategy for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.  

U.S. Defense Department officials say the decision follows a request by Djibouti's government, which voiced safety concerns following several recent drone crashes. Camp Lemonnier sits on the edge of Djibouti's international airport, and the unmanned aerial vehicles were taking off and landing from the same runway used by commercial aircraft, prompting concerns by Djibouti government officials.

The drones now are operating from an air strip at a remote location, also in Djibouti. Pentagon officials say they have not reduced operations in any way.

The decision to move the drones highlights the adjustments the Pentagon is making in its drone strategy, as it increases its dependence on unmanned aircraft to keep an eye on militant groups that are operating in eastern Africa.  

Camp Lemonnier, DjiboutiCamp Lemonnier, Djibouti
x
Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti
Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti
These groups include al-Shabab, which gained attention this week with an attack at a shopping mall in Kenya.

Using drones has been effective for the United States in its war on militants by allowing U.S. forces to efficiently and inexpensively strike targets and collect intelligence without putting U.S. soldiers on the ground.  

Downside of UAVs

Some observers say the extended use of drones has created a liability for the United States, however, in terms of public perception in countries where they are deployed.  

George Mason University Public Policy Professor Audrey Kurth Cronin said unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] have a record of crashing more often than manned aircraft, and they are extremely risky to use in places where the U.S. military does not control the air space.

“I do not think that anybody would argue against, in an active war zone, the usefulness of having unarmed capabilities like that to keep our soldiers from harm. But the problem is that UAVs have been used very extensively in places that are not active war zones, and here is where I think there is a lot to worry about,” said Cronin.

One concern among critics is the unpopularity of U.S. drones among people in the countries in which they operate could fuel anti-American sentiment and actually bolster militant groups.

Observers say the possibility of a U.S. drone causing a commercial plane to crash is not a risk the U.S. military can afford to take.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid