New counterterrorism manual exempts drone strikes

Administration officials claim that drone strikes in Pakistan are successful and worth continuing.

The CIA’s drone-strike campaign in Pakistan would not have to follow the same rules as other operations involving targeted killings for at least one year, according to the Washington Post.

The Obama administration is close to finishing a counterterrorism manual that will lay out rules for targeted killings, The Washington Post reported. Left out, however, is the CIA’s use of drone strikes in Pakistan.

The document, regarded as a “playbook” for counterterrorism operations, is designed to establish guidelines for such policies, The Washington Post said.

The manual deals with the process by which names are added to kill lists, as well as the legal process that would allow the government to target U.S. citizens, according to the newspaper. It also deals with the series of approvals necessary for the CIA or U.S. military to carry out drone strikes outside of war zones, The Washington Post reported.

While senior administrative officials wish to scale down the CIA’s operations in Pakistan, the alleged success of using drones to kill enemies made them hesitant to make any immediate changes that could affect it, according to The Washington Post.

The Telegraph reported that America's use of drone strikes against Al Qaeda and Taliban members in Pakistan have sparked protests by Pakistanis who believe such attacks violate their sovereignty.

From 2004 to 2012, 337 CIA drone strikes killed an estimated 1,953 to 3,279 people, according to a report by the New America Foundation. Of those killed, 1,526 to 2,649 were reported to be militants, the New American Foundation said. 

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