Obama Administration Fails to Make Progress on Reforming US Drone Program

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According to a Stimson Center report, the US president's administration failed to establish a more "sensible" drone policy, which would have been consistent with national economic and security interests.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US President Barack Obama's administration failed to implement reforms regarding the controversial drone policy to make it more transparent, accountable and consistent with national security interests, according to a report by the US think tank Stimson Center published Tuesday.

"Little progress has been made during the past year and a half to enact reforms that establish a more sensible US drone policy consistent with America’s long-term security and economic interests. The lack of a clear drone policy risks leaving a legacy on drone use that is based on secrecy and a lack of accountability that undermines efforts to support the international rule of law," the report reads.

In 2014, the Stimson Task Force, comprising senior military and intelligence officials, recommended public disclosure of targeted drone strikes, thorough review of past and present drone strikes and their effectiveness and detailed reports explaining the legal basis of the US lethal drone program, among other recommendations.

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The proposals were later backed by UN experts, including the adviser to Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Sarah Knuckey.

The US military has increasingly relied on drones to conduct operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Critics have slammed the practice for resulting in a significant number of civilian deaths and the destruction of infrastructure unrelated to terrorists.

Data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism shows that US drone strikes have killed up to 1,000 civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen over the past 10 years.

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