U.S. to Let Allies Buy Killer Drones

U.S. companies will be allowed to export armed drones to allies under a new policy approved by the Obama administration Tuesday. (Only the U.K. is allowed to get them now.) It’s not going to be a free-for-all, though. Each foreign government’s request will be examined on a case-by-case basis, and they must agree to “proper use” principles created by Washington that stipulate the drones must obey international law. Those rules remain classified, so it’s unclear whether the use of drones to assassinate terrorist suspects—a method President Obama has employed against al Qaeda far more than President Bush did—would be allowed. “The technology is here to stay,” a State Department official said. “It’s to our benefit to have certain allies and partners equipped appropriately.”