How Buck McKeon created a global drone enterprise

Tara McKelvey, “How Buck McKeon created a global drone enterprise,” BBC News Magazine, 2 August 2013

Many countries, including China and Israel, make drones. Yet the US is the world’s leader in creating technology for drones and in promoting their use – for both military and civilian purposes. The interest in drones in the US crosses political lines, with both Democrats and Republicans investing in the aircraft. …

Less well known, however, is the fact that drones are used in the civilian airspace over the US, UK and Europe.

It is a growing, if under-reported, trend. Many of the drones used in Pakistan, along with those sent to Afghanistan, now have a permanent home in the US. These drones are turned over to civilians who work for the federal Customs and Border Protection agency, police departments, and other government offices.

The story of how drones became a robust niche in domestic law enforcement – and part of the commercial world as well – is rooted in Washington DC. Indeed, the rise of the drone can be traced in part to one man, Howard “Buck” McKeon.

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Drones: CIA didn’t always know who it was killing in drone strikes, and The Pakistan government’s secret document

Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, “CIA didn’t always know who it was killing in drone strikes, classified documents show,” NBC News, 05/06/2013

The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows.

Chris Woods, “Leaked Pakistani report confirms high civilian death toll in CIA drone strikes,” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, July 22 2013

A secret document obtained by the Bureau reveals for the first time the Pakistan government’s internal assessment of dozens of drone strikes, and shows scores of civilian casualties.

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Drones More Deadly for Civilians Than Manned Aircraft

Spencer Ackerman, “US drone strikes more deadly to Afghan civilians than manned aircraft“, The Guardian, 2 July 2013

A study conducted by a US military adviser has found that drone strikes in Afghanistan during a year of the protracted conflict caused 10 times more civilian casualties than strikes by manned fighter aircraft.
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