Mission creep alert! And that budget issue must be fully resolved since we obviously have plenty of cash to throw around. When it comes to the military industrial complex, spending is somehow never an issue.
Coalition commanders have been privately urging the Americans to provide the specialist unmanned aircraft, which have become a favoured – if controversial – weapon in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Their ability to hone in on targets using powerful night-vision cameras is considered to be one way of helping rebels in the besieged city of Misrata, where a humanitarian crisis has unfolded in the last week.
The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, said Barack Obama had approved the use of the Predators which are armed with Hellfire missiles, signalling a marked growth in the US contribution to the Nato effort.
Of course, the missile drones don’t have the best reputation among civilians or human rights groups so it’s not obvious that this addition is a good thing.