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 October 12, 2022

White House creates new restrictions on counterterrorism drone strikes

President Joe Biden approved a classified strategy to impose additional limitations on how the U.S. authorized drone operations against terrorist targets.

According to The Washington Examiner, the Pentagon and the CIA received the guidelines on Friday, according to a later New York Times report. It formalizes a number of temporary restrictions that Biden put in place during his first few days in office.

A suspected terrorist will now require Biden's approval before being put to the list of people who can be the subject of "direct action." In contrast to President Donald Trump, who gave field commanders more authority, this was comparable to how President Barack Obama managed his second term.

Before launching a strike, officials must have "near certainty" that a target is a terrorist and "near certainty" that no bystanders would be injured or killed. Additionally, it encourages the capture of terrorists rather than their execution, which has an impact on the viability of such an operation.

“President Biden’s formal counterterrorism guidance directs his Administration to be discerning and agile in protecting Americans against evolving global terrorist challenges," Liz Sherwood-Randall, Biden’s homeland security adviser, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.

"Additionally, the President’s guidance on the use of lethal action and capture operations outside areas of active hostilities requires that U.S. counterterrorism operations meet the highest standards of precision and rigor, including for identifying appropriate targets and minimizing civilian casualties.”

These modifications, however, only apply to strikes in regions that the U.S. does not deem to be “areas of active hostilities” and were the result of a 20-month evaluation that Sherwood-Randall directed.

Only Iraq and Syria are now considered to be those places where these adjustments won't apply, as American soldiers and their allies are waging war against the last few Islamic State terrorists.

Additionally, it does not apply to strikes that are conducted to defend ally forces. Additionally, it does not apply to strikes that are conducted to defend ally forces. However, it will be applicable to nations where drone strikes have recently been carried out, such as Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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