In the thread about the drone captured by Iran, “Mr. Frank” made the following comment:
The military wanted to destroy the drone on the ground. Obama turned down their request. Why?
I was curious to see whether this was the case. Because the comment contained no link, I Googled it and found quite a few comments of the same type on various discussion boards. But all I could find as the source of the information was this statement by Dick Cheney:
“The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it,” Cheney said told Erin Burnett of CNN’s’ “OutFront”
Cheney said the president had three options on his desk but rejected all of them. “They involved sending somebody in to try to recover it or, if you can’t do that, and admittedly that would be a difficult operation, he certainly could have gone in and destroyed it on the ground with an air strike,” he said.
“But he didn’t take any of the options. He asked nicely for them to return it. And they aren’t going to do that,” Cheney said.
Interesting. Cheney doesn’t say where he got his information, but I assume it was from military sources annoyed at Obama.
Of course, there’s no way to tell whether it’s true or not, or what the risks of such an air strike would have been in comparison to the risks of letting the Iranians examine the drone and learn from it. I read somewhere (unfortunately, can’t find the source at the moment) that the design of the drone makes it resistant to the reverse-engineering Iran claims it’s undergoing. It’s almost impossible to know whether that’s true, either, but if it is then the capture of the drone would be most valuable to the Iranians for propaganda.
But here’s my question: why don’t drones feature a mechanism by which they can be destroyed remotely if they fall into enemy hands? That would seem to be a rather obvious plus to incorporate into the design, but this is hardly my field of expertise.