Following an apparently “successful” run with leased surveillance drones in Afghanistan, Germany’s Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, has now expressed interest in buying weapons-capable drone technology – under the pretence that it will “protect soldiers from attack”.
Speaking to Bundestag today she said:
“I am convinced that we should develop a European armed drone. We’re looking for partners for the project which will take at least a decade.”
However opposition Left Party lawmaker Christine Buchholz said armed drones weren’t invented to protect soldiers and told the minister: “The majority of the population doesn’t want these weapons systems.”
Berlin suspended the purchase of armed drones last November on the grounds that it “categorically rejects illegal killings.”
This followed an Amnesty International report accusing Angela Merkel’s government of aiding the US with drone strikes in Pakistan.