What to Make of France’s Move to Arm Its American-Made Reaper Drones

What to Make of France’s Move to Arm Its American-Made Reaper Drones
French President Emmanuel Macron visits soldiers participating in Operation Barkhane, Gao, Mali, May 19, 2017 (Pool photo via AP).

On Sept. 5, France announced it would arm the six Reaper drones that until now it has used almost exclusively for surveillance in counterterrorism operations in Africa’s Sahel region. The announcement marks a logical step in France’s increasing reliance on unmanned drones. But what does it mean for drone policy in France and the United States, and for the norms of drone proliferation? That France would eventually aim to arm its drones should come as no surprise; France has had an interest in unmanned aircraft technology for years. But the European consortium responsible for pooling member country resources and developing […]

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