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    UK Purchasing US Predator Drones Sign of Increasing Military Ambitions

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    The United Kingdom's purchase of US Predator drones means that the country wants to boost its military power and to intensify military activities, experts told Sputnik.

    DUBROVNIK, (Sputnik) – On November 16, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said that the US Department of State has approved a possible $1 billion sale of Predator drones, equipment, training and support to the United Kingdom.

    “It seems likely that the UK is keen to increase its independent military capability, for political as well as for strategic military reasons. Segments of the British establishment sense that there is now an opportunity for Britain to assume an even more prominent role in NATO,” Vice-Chair of the UK’s Stop the War Coalition, Chris Nineham said.

    “Drones are likely to be used in the bombing of Daesh-controlled areas in Iraq, Syria and Libya. There is also a possibility that they will be used against Syrian government forces,” Nineham added.

    According to the co-coordinator of the Peace Pledge Union, Symon Hill, the United Kingdom will not benefit from buying more weapons and would be better off spending on non-violent conflict resolutions.

    “This is a better use of the world's money than buying weapons. The UK should not follow [US President-elect] Donald Trump's insistence on high military spending. The countries that spend most on armed force… are bad examples to follow,” Hill said.

    During his presidential campaign, Trump has called on US allies in NATO to pay more for the alliance’s defense.

    “Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron had talked about buying more armed drones from the US some time ago so I don't think this [drones sale] is related to Trump but certainly fits with his agenda,” Penny Walker from the Leicester Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, member of the Drone Campaign Network said.

    According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Certifiable Predator B will be used to support the UK’s armed forces and coalition forces engaged in current and future peacekeeping, peace-enforcing, counter-insurgent, and counterterrorism operations.

    “Whatever words are used to justify their [drones] use — peacekeeping, peace enforcing — the result of more drones is more war,” Walker warned.

    The UK government intends to buy from the United States 26 Predator drones, 12 advanced ground control stations, along with other systems, equipment and personnel training programs.


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