Drones in Niger, analyzed by the NYT

Surprised to see Niger featured prominently in the New York Times today – though maybe I shouldn’t be since the article is about US drones and anti-terror efforts there.

President Issoufou did take a risk letting the surveillance drones in, but perhaps it would have been a bigger one to not allow them, since there seem to be few other tools available to track militants. For now they are not armed, though according to the article that was a decision made in the White House; Niger had asked for them to be armed. This is a little worrying, and I’m glad Obama officials balked at the potential negative implications of this.

This’ll be an interesting story to follow, watching how Nigeriens and others in West Africa react to a lighter-handed American role in the anti-extremism fight, yet with such a controversial tool as drones. And whether the drones will be more helpful than training efforts of the Trans-Sahel Counter Terrorism Initiative seem to have been, at least for the Malian army.

 

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About developingnathan
I am a reflective person. I am an introvert, a friend, a brother and a son. I appreciate a well-crafted glass of beer, piece of music and turn of phrase. I am a professional of international development, a good pianist and a Green Bay Packers fan.

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