Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Trump gives CIA authority to carry out drone strikes, WSJ says

The president of the United States has given the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, a role previously assigned exclusively to the Pentagon, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

According to unidentified official sources cited by the newspaper, Donald Trump's decision is a change from the policy implemented by former President Barack Obama, who limited the paramilitary role of the CIA.

During Obama's administration, CIA drones were used to carry out reconnaissance and collect intelligence to locate suspected terrorists, but attacks were then carried out by the military.

The drone strike that killed Taliban leader Ajtar Mansurin May 2016 in Pakistan "was the best example of that hybrid approach" by the CIA and the Pentagon, the newspaper said.

By the end of his tenure, Obama managed to implement a set of rules that allowed only the Pentagon to carry out strikes in order to ensure transparency.

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