Sentinel Down

And yet again, after leaving behind a cutting edge stealth helicopter during the bin Laden raid, the U.S. conducts another, involuntary, state-of-the-art military technology transfer to the enemy.

Iran’s capture of US drone shines light on spy mission, but may reveal little

The Iranian capture of a high-tech, stealth U.S. drone shines a light on the American spying mission there, but probably doesn’t tell Tehran much that it didn’t already know, a senior U.S. official said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel was providing surveillance over Iran and didn’t just accidentally wander away from the Afghanistan border region, as first suggested. The official said Wednesday that the Iranians will no doubt be able to tell where the aircraft flew. A bigger U.S. concern, the official said, was that the Iranians are likely to share or sell whatever they have recovered of the aircraft to the Chinese, Russians or others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the mission.

Experts and officials acknowledge that there is no self-destruct mechanism on the Sentinels — which are used both by the military and the CIA for classified surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.

. . .

U.S. officials said that while they have enough information to confirm that Iran does have the wreckage, they said they are not sure what the Iranians will be able to glean technologically from what they found. It is unlikely that Iran would be able to recover any surveillance data from the aircraft.

See also:
US admits downed drone spied on Iran
Iran says US spy drone was flying deep inside its airspace when it was downed
Malfunction likely put U.S. drone in Iranian hands
Iran Probably Did Capture a Secret U.S. Drone
U.S. Military Sources: Iran Has Missing U.S. Drone
Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
China, Russia want to inspect downed U.S. drone
Sentinel unmanned drone lost in Iran among US most valuable warfare assets
Drone belonged to CIA, officials say
Downed drone was on CIA mission
Officials: Drone downed in Iran on CIA mission
Drone Lost in Iran Was Joint CIA-Military Reconnaissance Plane
Iran’s downing of U.S. drone rattles Washington
US ‘concerned’ over drone lost near Iran border
Experts: Iran capture of stealth drone no worry
US considered missions to destroy RQ-170 Sentinel drone lost in Iran
Spy drone may provide little help to Iran
U.S. debated sending commandos into Iran to recover drone
U.S. Made Covert Plan to Retrieve Iran Drone
Iran: The Stealth War Continues
Drone Drama Proves Iran Is Ready to Rumble
Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran
U.S. drones have been spying on Iran for years

The good news is that we seem to be paying close attention to what Iran is up to, have been for years, and can penetrate Iranian airspace with near impunity. These past and, hopefully, ongoing intelligence gathering and surveillance activities should help provide a detailed blueprint for when push comes to shove and Iran has to be dealt with militarily, which is sure to eventually become a necessity.

/that said, it’s a total unforced strategic error to just let Iran have this advanced technology drone, to share with or sell to other potential enemies of the United States, would it have killed us, if we didn’t want to risk lives to recover the Sentinel, to at least launch an airstrike package to obliterate the wreckage?

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A Terrorist Trifecta

Mr. Predator and Mr. Hellfire team up to force the two vehicle al Qaeda drive to go three and out.

Most Successful Drone Strike Ever: Were Three Al Qaeda Leaders Killed?

The CIA drone strike that killed Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki and chief propagandist Samir Khan may also have taken out the terror organization’s top bombmaker.

Reports say that Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is believed to have constructed both the “underwear” bomb used in the attempted bombing of Northwest flight 253 and the bombs in last year’s parcel bomb plot, may have been with Awlaki and Khan when missiles from a U.S. drone struck their vehicle in Yemen Friday.

See also:
U.S. –born ‘Terrorist No. 1’ Anwar al Awlaki killed in Yemen in major blow to Al Qaeda
Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaida cleric and top US target, killed in Yemen
Al-Qaeda terror chief Anwar al-Awlaki killed in Yemen
Al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in CIA Drone Strike
American Jihadi Samir Khan Killed With Awlaki
A ‘proud traitor’: Samir Khan reported dead alongside Aulaqi
25-year-old American is killed with mentor Anwar al-Aulaqi in drone strike
Samir Khan named as second US citizen to die in drone strike
Top al Qaeda bombmaker dead in drone strike
Al-Awlaki drone ‘killed bomb-maker’
AQAP bomb maker Asiri thought killed in Yemen Predator strike
U.S. Drone Strike on al-Awlaki Likely Kills al-Qaeda Bomb-maker in Yemen
Anwar al-Awlaki
Samir Khan
Ibrahim al-Asiri

Unfortunately, al-Awlaki and Khan nave already published and recorded more than enough internet material to posthumously radicalize Muslims from here to eternity. Killing them was a good thing, but the damage is already done and their deaths won’t make the recruitment problem go away.

/on the other hand, al-Asiri, the bombmaker, is going to be hard for al Qaeda to replace, he was good, especially at designing nonmetallic explosive devices