Shortage of drones threatens Afghanistan mission

07/30/2009 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

The U.S. military is shifting its focus in Afghanistan to target the Taliban rather than al-Qaida, but a shortage of unmanned drone aircraft may hinder the effectiveness of the new mission. A preliminary review has concluded that the U.S. command in Afghanistan needs up to four times as many Predators as it currently has. The military has already shifted about eight Predator drones away from scouring remote mountain ranges to focusing on major Taliban strongholds.

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