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The Less Things Change...

Author: Micah Zenko, Douglas Dillon Fellow
May 22, 2014
Foreign Policy

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Since one-year anniversaries are deemed appropriate occasions to revisit major policy initiatives, get ready for a glut of articles reviewing U.S. drone strike policies since President Barack Obama's May 23, 2013, counterterrorism speech at the National Defense University (NDU). This speech was the culmination of a series of interagency reviews into controversial U.S. targeted killings policies, which the Obama administration decided to give because it was concerned that its ability to conduct drone strikes -- like other controversial counterterrorism tactics -- could become unduly constrained by domestic and international political pressure, or the denial of basing and overflight rights. The speech may have been criticized for being a whole lot of nothing, but the cynic could argue that it's been effective. Indeed, there is little domestic or international pressure to change anything; the drone strike program continues apace and the United States is reportedlylikely to retain access to Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan to continue drone strikes into northwest Pakistan.

Here are 10 things that show how little has changed over the past year regarding U.S. targeted killing policies.

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