Iran has unveiled a new long-range drone named Karrar which has a range of 1,000km and could carry two 250-pound bombs or a precision bomb of 500 pounds. According to the BBC, President Ahmadinejad said that the new drone was a “messenger of honour and human generosity and a saviour of mankind, before being a messenger of death for enemies of mankind.”
Amidst all this, the house newspaper of the USAF, the Air Force Times, carried a strong piece arguing that the air force should have the ‘honour’ of running the drone war in Pakistan rather than the CIA. Its worth quoting a large section:
History, American tradition, and U.S. and international law all say that military operations should be carried out by the armed forces. If bad guys like al-Jufi are not legitimate military targets, we shouldn’t attack them. It’s not the business of an intelligence agency or, worse, of a private contractor working for an intelligence agency — to kill people. A 1976 executive order by President Ford bans American intelligence agencies from engaging in assassination.
If they are legitimate military targets, military people should wage the campaign against them. Since we’re talking remotely piloted aircraft, the branch of the military that should handle this is the Air Force.
“It’s not a good idea for the CIA to have a direct part in armed hostilities,” said Gary Solis in a telephone interview. Solis is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and judge advocate. “It’s contrary to the law of armed conflict. Flying and arming drones and inputting intelligence for their mission should be performed by the military.”