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Why US changed its policy on drone strikes?

Why US changed its policy on drone strikes?

US President Joe Biden has limited the policy of using lethal drone strikes outside of war zones, so it is subject to presidential approval. The new directives, issued on Friday, aim to protect civilian lives and are part of the new US counterterrorism strategy.

According to the Associated Press (AP), a senior US official said on condition of anonymity that under the new policy, any suspected militant would have to be approved by the president before being included on the list of lethal actions. This operation also includes drone attacks and Raid operations.

The new policy requires the approval of the president before a lethal drone strike or commando raid can be launched against a particular counterterrorism target, according to a senior administration official, and that person must be named, though the policy allows the president to renounce that and others requirements at his discretion. The president must also approve which groups in which countries are considered to have potential targets as members.

It also institutionalizes a number of standards for taking action against a target, including that counterterrorism operators must establish with “almost certainty” that there will be no civilian casualties in the attack and that the target poses a continuing and imminent threat to the United States.

The policy also requires operators to obtain permission from the State Department’s chief of mission in the country in question, the senior administration official said.

White House National Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, who led the nearly two-year review that led to the new policy, said in a statement that the guidance “instructs the [Biden] Administration to be discerning and nimble in protecting Americans against global evolution.” terrorist challenges” and “requires U.S. counterterrorism operations to meet the highest standards of accuracy and rigour, including in identifying appropriate targets and minimizing civilian casualties.”

Following these new guidelines, US drone policy has returned to the same level as it was during the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Under former President Donald Trump, the policy was reversed to allow even lower-ranking officials to decide on deadly drone strikes.

After President Biden took office, the ban was placed on US military and intelligence agencies, requiring them to obtain presidential authorization to use deadly force outside of war zones.

A review of this policy was initiated shortly after taking office and has now been issued with formal instructions. The new strategy would require incoming presidents to review policy to reverse President Joe Biden’s directive.

White House security adviser Sherrod Randall said in a statement that “President Biden’s formal counterterrorism directive provides guidance for his administration to address the challenges of global terrorism and be prepared to protect Americans.”

He added that the president’s guidance on the use of deadly force and detention outside of conflict zones “requires that US counterterrorism operations meet the highest standards of precision and rigour.” lowering the goal of it is to properly identify targets and keep civilian casualties to a minimum.’

According to US officials, these instructions came exactly one day after the US attacked three top ISIS commanders in Syria on Thursday. The operation also includes a ground operation in areas controlled by the Syrian government.

The policy requires Biden’s approval before a suspected terrorist is added to a list of people who may be targeted by “direct action,” in a return to more centralized control of decisions over targeted killing operations that was a hallmark of President Barack Obama’s second term. The Biden administration’s rules apply to strikes in poorly governed places where Islamist militants are active but are not considered “active areas of hostilities” by the United States.

Only Iraq and Syria, where US troops and their partners are fighting the remnants of the Islamic State, are currently considered conventional war zones where the new rules will not apply and commanders in the field will have greater freedom to order airstrikes or counter-terrorist raids. without seeking White House approval, the official said. That means the rules will limit any such operations in several other countries where the US has carried out drone strikes in recent years, including Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen, as well as Pakistan’s tribal region.

The policy is said to declare that capture is preferable to killing, requiring the military and the C.I.A. to assess the feasibility of a capture operation. It also requires them to obtain the consent of the State Department chief of mission in a country before conducting an operation there, the official said.


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