Must Read

NYT: How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs

Authors: Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage, and Scott Shane

This account of what led to the [Anwar al-]Awlaki strike, based on interviews with three dozen current and former legal and counterterrorism officials and outside experts, fills in new details of the legal, intelligence and military challenges faced by the Obama administration in what proved to be a landmark episode in American history and law.

See more in United States; Counterterrorism

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FP: My Drone War

Author: Pir Zubair Shah

American drones have changed everything for al-Qaeda and its local allies in Pakistan, becoming a fact of life in a secret war that is far from over, writes Foreign Policy's Pir Zubair Shah.

See more in Counterterrorism; Pakistan

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CNN: CIA Drone War in Pakistan in Sharp Decline

Authors: Peter Lampert Bergen and Jennifer Rowland

The CIA's drone program, while successful, has been largely unpopular in Pakistan. But drone strikes are decreasing since they peaked in 2010. Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland of CNN ask: Is it because of politics or because we're running out of real targets?

See more in Counterterrorism; Pakistan

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FP: Fire When Ready

Author: Jack Goldsmith

Obama's targeted drone strikes--even on Americans--aren't illegal, writes Jack Goldsmith for Foreign Policy. In fact, he writes, there's a solid legal foundation and a number of checks and balances upholding his right to take out terrorists.

See more in Counterterrorism; International Law; United States