The administration of President Joe Biden wants to keep a controversial policy from the era of his predecessor Donald Trump that jump-started sales of armed drones to countries whose human rights records are under scrutiny in the United States and elsewhere, sources familiar with the discussion have told the Reuters news agency.
When Trump’s administration reinterpreted the Cold War-era arms agreement between 35 nations, known as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), to increase drone sales, arms control advocates and some top Democratic legislators feared it would worsen global conflicts.
While it is too early to tell if that is the case, sales have risen.
Keeping the policy could also be at odds with Biden’s campaign pledge to “make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms”. When Biden was vice president under President Barack Obama, human rights groups criticised their administration for drone attacks on Taliban fighters in Afghanistan that…