Published: Wed, March 15, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

CIA Regains Authority To Drone Strike Terrorists Under Trump

CIA Regains Authority To Drone Strike Terrorists Under Trump

Reports from Vice and others claim he might be transferring the power over his predecessor's drone program entirely to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - an institution plagued by scandal stemming from recent revelations regarding its highly unconstitutional spying methods.

And a senior White House official told The Washington Post that a review of drone policy was nearly complete and would roll back other constraints imposed by Barack Obama. It was a question I didn't feel entirely confident answering back then because-for all his campaign talk about reducing our military footprint overseas while focusing on defeating the Islamic State-he didn't have much to say about using drones.

"Some of the Obama administration rules were getting in the way of good strikes", a U.S. official briefed on the matter told NBC News.

Former President Barack Obama had halted USA drone strikes in the last eight month of his administration.

At the same time, reporting by the Washington Post's Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung late Monday revealed that the Trump administration is also considering a number of changes to Presidential Policy Guidance, also known as the Drone Playbook, issued by the Obama administration in 2013.

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Al Qaeda confirmed on March 2 that al-Masri was killed by a drone. The U.S. drone strike that killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in May 2016 in Pakistan was the best example of that hybrid approach, U.S. officials said.

Critics have pointed out that even if drones are used to target terrorists, the final decision should rest with the military.

The review of the policy on drone strikes will also allow the Pentagon to order strikes without checking with the White House, as had been mandated by President Obama, who had tried to bring transparency and accountability to the process, as he leaned on it heavily as a substitute for military deployment. The Trump plans are also likely to relax the requirement that potential terror targets pose a "continuing and imminent threat" to USA personnel, officials said.

In July, the administration of Barack Obama provided fatality estimates for 473 strikes between 2009 and 2015 that were conducted outside principal war zones.

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