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ENDLESS WAR U.S. Deploys Drones in Libya James Keogh, Maxppp / Landov, JAMES KEOGH

U.S. Deploys Drones in Libya

There still aren’t boots on the ground, but in the latest sign that Western involvement in Libya is escalating, President Obama has approved the use of Predator drones for patrolling the country. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made the announcement Thursday, and a top general said one flight had already been attempted—although the Hellfire-missile-armed craft turned back because of bad weather. "I think that today may in fact have been their first mission," Gates said. He denied, however, that this meant the U.S. was expanding beyond a small role. “I think this is a very limited additional role on our part, but it does provide some additional capabilities to NATO,” he said. “I don’t think there’s mission creep at all.”

April 21, 2011 7:00 PM