President Hamid Karzai has announced hat the United States would give Afghanistan its own fleet of aerial surveillance drones.
Though Mr. Karzai took pains to note that the drones would be unarmed, such aircraft could significantly help the Afghan forces’ reconnaissance and surveillance abilities. Spy drones have been a crucial part of efforts to track down Taliban insurgents in the country and watch over coalition forces in the field. But the aircraft have been operated strictly by Western forces.
“They will train Afghans to fly them, use them and maintain them,” Mr. Karzai said, though he did not specify how many would be handed over. “Besides drones, Afghanistan will be provided with other intelligence gathering equipment which will be used to defend and protect our air and ground sovereignty.”