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Articles from the Peace News log: Drones

Articles from the Peace News log.
For articles in this category from the whole site, look here

Ahead of the national demo there on 4 October, Lindis Percy and Chris Cole take a look at RAF Croughton & its role in the US drone wars.

ImageSeemingly not many people know about ‘RAF’ Croughton near Brackley and bordering Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. Misleadingly referred to as RAF, this important US base is occupied and controlled by the US and their agencies under the umbrella of the United States Air Force. It supports Presidential, NATO, US European Command, US Central Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, US Department of State operations. The NSA, CIA and a contingent of GCHQ personnel are also present. It operates one of Europe's largest military switchboards; processing approximately a third of all U.S. military communications between the USA and Europe and supports over twenty different communication and defence systems. The base is involved in intelligence-led warfare (Drones) and illegal surveillance and intelligence gathering on all citizens.

Just up the road is USAF Barford St John and a satellite base to Croughton. Earlier this year CAAB learnt that Military Land byelaws (now law) were proposed at Croughton and Barford St John; indicating that something significant was being planned.

Information from Washington was stumbled on by CAAB (with additional information given to CAAB by Cahal Milmo of the Independent) which said that the base was to become the largest intelligence hub outside the US. $317m is to be spent for an ultra-secure intelligence centre staffed by up to 1,250 personnel and covering operations in Africa (AFRICOM). The upgrade will make it as big and as important as NSA/NRO Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire. There has been no debate in Parliament.

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I've long raised the question of British attitudes towards drones and drone strikes. We now have some info about this courtesy of a new poll by Pew: http://tinyurl.com/pewsdronestrikes

In Britain 47% disapprove of US drone strikes, against 44% who approve. Along with the US and India, Britain is an outlier on this: witness the "disapprove" rates for Greece (90%), Egypt (89%), Jordan (85%), Turkey (81%), Spain (76%), Brazil (76%) and Japan (75%).

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