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U.S. may sell armed drones to key allies

Washington, Thu, 15 Dec 2011 ANI

Washington, Dec 15(ANI): The United States has been secretly pushing to sell armed drones to key allies, but the plan is being opposed by lawmakers, who are worried about the proliferation of technology.


Onama's administration has began informal negotiations with lawmakers over the proposal in the wake of its Persian Gulf pressing Washington to authorize drone sales, The Wall Street Journal reports.


The US is required by law to notify key congressional committees about the proposal, and officials predict that the plan would likely be subjected to additional scrutiny.


The plan is a part of the Pentagon's efforts to ensure North Atlantic Treaty Organization members acquire pilotless aircraft and ease the military burden on the country in Afghanistan and in future conflicts.


The Pentagon's proposal has, however, have sparked off a debate between the Obama administration and Congress members over whether the U.S. should speed up the proposal that will enable other countries to execute military strikes by remote control.


The debate comes in the wake of human-rights groups attacking the use of drones to target suspected militants around the world.


Republican and Democratic committee leaders have also been pressing the administration to devise a policy on drone exports, while experts have urged the US to take into account the border implications of the proposal that poses risk.


Supporters of drone sales however, argue that the annulling of the proposal would encourage countries to develop their own versions of the aircraft or buy it from other countries developing similar capabilities.


A 293 million dollar proposal to arm Italy's six Reaper drones is in the pipeline but is yet to be submitted to Congress for review.


The Pentagon also wants to sell upto two armed drones and four surveillance drones to Turkey. (ANI)


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