Ten Steps the Administration Can Take to Improve Transparency and Accountability for Drone Strikes and Targeted Killing
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION has repeatedly committed to increased transparency and accountability, including with respect to national security, counterterrorism, and military operations. The administration has recently taken important steps forward by issuing an executive order formalizing procedures for limiting civilian casualties when the United States uses force, and releasing a redacted version of the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) on the procedures for approving capture and lethal force operations outside “areas of active hostilities” and a summary of its assessment of civilians and combatants killed in such lethal operations. While these disclosures are important, additional steps are needed to enable Americans to understand the nature and scope of the targeted killing program, how targeting decisions are made, the legal justifications for those decisions, and whether the program is making the country safer in the long run. Below are ten steps the administration can—and should —take right now to improve transparency and accountability for drone strikes and other targeted killings.