Friday, July 31, 2015

Drone Warfare Is Big Business

An X-47B drone combat aircraft. Final targeting decisions are made by military personnel but mistakes by contractors could lead to the wrong people being killed. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

The Guardian: Revealed: Private firms at heart of US drone warfare

Corporate staff are reviewing top-secret data and helping uniformed colleagues decide whether people under surveillance are enemies or civilians.

The overstretched US military has hired hundreds of private-sector contractors to the heart of its drone operations to analyse top-secret video feeds and help track suspected terrorist leaders, an investigation has found.

Contracts unearthed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveal a secretive industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars, placing a corporate workforce alongside uniformed personnel analysing intelligence from areas of interest.

While it has long been known that US defence firms supply billions of dollars’ worth of equipment for drone operations, the role of the private sector in supplying analysts for combing through intelligence material has remained almost entirely unknown until now.

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction .... this involvement of private contractors in drone operations and analysis is only going to grow.

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