President Obama eases Certain Requirements for CIA Drone Programme in Pakistan
US President Barack Obama has eased certain rules for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drone programme in Pakistan. These rules were meant to reduce the risk of civilian deaths.
The CIA has to reveal that proposed targets can cause threat to the US for drone strikes in nations like Yemen and Somalia. But the CIA has been given a waiver from this rule for drone operations in Pakistan.
The revelation of the waiver news came into lime light after Obama admitted and also apologized that aid worker Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto were killed by a US drone strike. If there would have been no exemption then CIA would have collected more information before carrying out the strike.
On April 23, Obama said in his apology, "Our initial assessment indicates that this operation was fully consistent with the guidelines under which we conduct counterterrorism efforts in the region". It is not known what exactly are the guidelines and they were different in comparison to drone strikes in other regions.
As per the Wall Street Journal report, many current and US officials have also stated that there many changes with regard to the drone strikes that Obama has asked for in 2013, and till date they have not been implemented.
Some of the rules required, the US had to have 'near certainty' that no civilians would be injured or killed and that the US needed to be imminent. However, in the case of the CIA drone program in Pakistan, the rule with regard to imminent threat was exempted.
The exemption meant that CIA can conduct the signature strikes and more targeted attacks without collecting specific information that whether or not the target poses an imminent threat to the US.
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