“The Afghans do not have that capability yet. It’s one of the enablers that we are trying to build into them before we leave.”
From his statements it is unclear of the drones capabilities, but did shed some light when this transition would take place. In January 2013, rumors surfaced about weapons-capable drones being given to Afghanistan, and the Pentagon assured that the drones would be small and not capable of carrying any type of weapon system.
General Mattis continued on by commenting on the United States involvement in Afghanistan with drones into the foreseeable future.
“The long-term view is that we will continue this so long as we are there, and we will transition this capability, standing it up inside the Afghan forces so when we leave, they have the ability to keep an eye on that border area…I’ve operated in many areas around the world, and I’ve never had more difficult military terrain to operate in than along that border.”
Although the Afghan’s technological resources are dwarfed compared to the United States, one must wonder if these so called small drones could be reverse engineered into weapons-capable arial platforms? As 2014 approaches and U.S. troops slowly trickle out of Afghanistan, we will see what drones, surveillance equipment and aircraft capabilities the U.S. leave into the hands of the Afghan Government.