Drone pilot shortage as CIA drone strikes resume

Drone strike damaged house from 2009

After a two week pause the CIA have resumed drone strikes in Pakistan.   According to press reports between seven and fourteen people have been killed in a drone strike on a ‘compound’ near the town of Miranshah in the province of North Waziristan.    The BBC reported that tribal elders in the area had told them that many of those killed were civilians staying in a village house.

Meanwhile in the US competion between homeland security and the military for drone pilots has led to US customs and borders being unable to fly drone missions according to testimony in the US congress this week.  “There is a significant amount of competition among the DoD (Department of Defense) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to hire UAV pilots,” said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assistant commissioner Michael Kostelnik.

According to AFP, the United States currently has four drones patrolling the border with Mexico in Arizona and one in the northern border with Canada in the state of North Dakota. Two more have been requested this year for the Texas-Mexico border.

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