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Thursday, September 6, 2012
Pentagon OK with selling US drones to 66 countries
NBC News September 6, 2012
Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images, file
A Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, southern England, on July 22, 2010.
By Doug Palmer and Jim Wolf, Reuters
WASHINGTON -- As many as 66 countries would be eligible to buy U.S. drones under new Defense Department guidelines but Congress and the State Department, which have a final say, have not yet opened the spigots for exports, a senior Pentagon official said on Wednesday.
The 66 countries were listed in a Defense Department policy worked out last year to clear the way for wider overseas sales of unmanned aerial systems, as the Pentagon calls such drones, said Richard Genaille, deputy director of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency. He did not name them.
"We don't really have a comprehensive U.S. government policy" on such exports, he told an industry conference called ComDef 2012. "It hasn't moved quite as fast as we would like, but we're not giving up."