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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid