Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Terrorism Analyst

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Senior U.S. Military Official says Iran Supplying Venezuela with Drones


I hate to say I told you so. I also hate to come off like I'm tooting my own horn because I'm not. But when I see a report like the one I'm about to share, I can't help but feel frustrated, even a bit angry.

I've been reporting extensively on Iran and Hezbollah's increasingly dangerous activities in Latin America--particularly Venezuela--for well over a year now (see here, here and here for starters).

In my opinion, this growing Iranian/Hezbollah network on our southern doorstep is among the gravest national security threats facing America today--and as I said, it's been obvious for a while.Now, magically, the Obama administration is finally taking notice. Gee, thanks guys. Now what are you going to do about it?

Here's more, from U.S. News

Iran and Middle East-based extremist groups are stepping up their activities in South America, aiming to make friends and score cash, a senior U.S. military official says.

Tehran intends to build military drones in Washington's backyard for the Venezuelan military led by Hugo Chavez, U.S. Southern Command chief Gen. Douglas Fraser told reporters Wednesday during a breakfast meeting in Washington.

Pressed by DOTMIL about the unmanned aerial vehicles' capabilities, Fraser dubbed it "a fairly limited-capacity UAV."

"I would put it in the Scan Eagle class of UAV," Fraser said. "It's not up into the Predator class."

The Southern Command chief was referring to two U.S.-made drone aircraft used by the American military. The Scan Eagle is about 10 feet long and is used for surveillance while the MQ-1B Predator drone can be armed with air-to-ground Hellfire missiles and is about 27 feet long.

Fraser said it's unclear what kinds of missions Venezuelan officials will send the Iranian drones.

His best guess? "I assume it's for internal defense."

Ah, yes! Internal defense is all. I'm sure they would never use them in a more "offensive" capacity. Why, that would be completely out of character for the likes of Hugo Chavez and Iran's mullahs! Or at least that's what our government officials--who appear incapable of thinking outside the conventional Beltway box--seem to believe.

And in the end, this kind of narrow-minded, uncreative analysis, coupled with a complete lack of understanding or curiosity about the ideology that drives our enemies, is going to cost us dearly.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, March 08, 2012 6:47 PM



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