Fifty years ago today, the Soviet Union announced that it had shot down an American U-2 spy plane and that its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was alive.
It seems like a long-ago event from the cold war. That may be why, in this era of satellites and drones, most people are surprised to learn that the U-2 is not only still in use, but that it is as much a part of our national security structure as it was a half-century ago.
Every decade or so there is chatter about replacing the U-2. And yet, thanks to its remarkable technological and operational capacity and flexibility, the U-2 has in recent years been used to find homemade bombs in Afghanistan, drug lords in Colombia, mass graves in the former Yugoslavia and budding nuclear weapons programs in the Middle East.… Seguir leyendo »