The Central Intelligence Agency needs more drones, according to a proposal submitted by director David Petraeus.
Petraeus submitted a proposal to add up to 10 drones to a program that currently has about 30 to 35 of the unmanned aerial vehicles. The increase is needed to allow the agency to continue launching strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, while targeting terror threats in other regions of the world, according to a report by The Washington Post.
If the CIA proposal is approved, it could expand its drone missions to North Africa, where al-Qaida is expected to have established significant strongholds, while continuing aggressive bombing missions in Yemen and Pakistan.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik recently claimed that 80 percent of those killed in U.S. drone attacks in his country are civilians. And a recent study conducted by Stanford and New York University backs up the claim, finding that only about 2 percent of the nearly 3,000 casualties were high-value militant targets.
The White House Counterterrorism Security Group has not yet approved the CIA proposal; and, because top Pentagon officials have previously expressed concern about the CIA’s increasing involvement in targeted killing missions, there is a chance the agency will not get the extra drones.