December 01, 2017

The Pentagon will arm drones in Niger, boosting the number of U.S. troops there

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist: Alex Horton

The Pentagon gained approval from the Nigerien government to fly armed drones out of Niamey, Niger’s capital, a State Department official said Friday, an effort that will put more firepower in the region, and also require more U.S. troops there.

Air Force personnel who specialize in transporting, inspecting, loading and maintaining weapons such as Hellfire missiles and GPS-guided bombs will be needed in Niger, along with refuelers, mechanics and other logistical personnel, according to Paul Scharre, the director of the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

Additional pilots and aircraft may also be needed. There are 800 U.S. personnel in Niger, mostly based at Niamey’s airport. It remains unclear whether the armed drones in Niger will be used to better protect U.S. troops, expand strike capabilities against militants in the region, or both, Scharre said.

Read the full article here.


  • Paul Scharre

    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence...