The Biden administration wants to keep a controversial Trump policy that jump-started sales of armed drones to countries whose human rights records are under scrutiny in the United States and elsewhere, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
When former President Donald 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 lawmakers feared it would worsen global conflicts.
While it’s too early to tell if that is the case, sales have risen.
Keeping the policy could also be at odds with President Joe 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 armed drone attacks on Taliban militants in Afghanistan that also killed civilians.