Donald Trump gives Central Intelligence Agency authority to carry out drone strikes
16 March, 2017, 00:13 | Author: Ora Austin
U.S President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) new authority to launch drone strikes against suspected insurgents, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday.
The move would mark a departure from drone policies following during the administration of former President Barrack Obama and focused on limiting the spy agency's paramilitary role, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing USA officials.
And while surpassing former U.S. President Barack Obama's record on drone strikes would be a feat - he was the president that administered the most in history, after all - Trump's administration is on course to do just that with the new set of new policies.
In a letter released Friday, 37 former top U.S. officials, most of whom served in the Obama administration, urged Trump to move cautiously when modifying or overturning restrictions imposed in recent years.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions from the Daily News.
The CIA drone strikes have also proven successful in eliminating high profile terrorists from Pakistan.
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Included in the authority is a relaxed requirement around those who can be targeted in a drone strike, which under the Obama administration was already very broad.
Trump wants to accelerate the fight against Islamic State group and other militant groups.
The changes to the Obama-era Presidential Policy Guidance would empower the Pentagon to make decisions on targets without approval from the White House and potentially scrap the "near certainty" standard of no civilian deaths for strikes outside of war zones. 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.
"There is a bit of a problem with the Wall Street Journal's report". However, Trump will surely lift as many restrictions as possible, making way easier for the military to use drone strikes against potential terror targets, from pretty much any location. The Department of Defense has confirmed in January that ISIS has used improvised drones to strike at USA -backed coalition forces fighting in Mosul.
"The CIA should be a foreign intelligence gathering and analysis organization - not a paramilitary one", he added. In July, Washington admitted to the unintentional deaths of about 116 civilians from nations not at war with the US, due to drone attacks.
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