Drone protest Horsham Air Base 28 Jul 2018

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Bob Smith of the Brandywine Peace Community provides a good quickie history of the protests at the Horsham Air Base. Included here is a piece on the fate of Representative Pat Meehan (R-PA), who played a very active role in getting the drone command center placed at the Horsham Air Base to begin with.

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In 2016, the ground force in Afghanistan had reached a very low point and drones had taken on a very large part of the burden of war-fighting there. The US appears to be putting more resources into the fighting there, including more drones, but there's no sign of US forces reversing Taliban gains.

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The Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was gravely wounded in 2012 and has since come to represent Pakistani women seeking more education. The person in charge of the operation that shot her, Mullah Fazlullah, has been killed by a drone strike.

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In May, the Taliban sent several hundred fighters to take the Afghan city of Farah (With 50,000 inhabitants is the largest city in the poppy-growing region). they were ultimately unsuccessful, but US and Afghan forces used many drones in the battle to drive them back.

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"Any restrictions on unmanned aerial vehicle use under Obama have been loosened or simply shredded," Andrew Cockburn, author of Kill Chain, a book about drone strikes, told a reporter from Motherboard. There are now far fewer restrictions on drone activity in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. In 2017, the US launched 161 drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia, representing a threefold increase since 2016. The majority of theses strikes used hunter-killer drones that both surveil the targets beforehand and strike when called upon to do so. The pace of the strikes continues to increase. The US military won't give figures on how much drone use has increased in Afghanistan, but the total use of bombs and missiles, including those delivered by drones, has increased enormously.

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As far as civilian drones are concerned, Digital Trends reports that the best commercial drone for home use is a little under $800 and folds up into a package the size of a brick, so it's very easy to carry around prior to deploying.

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We normally sit facing the traffic with our backs to the speaker, but we had a commercial event blaring music behind us, so many of us turned around to hear our speaker.

PRAWN