Among the plethora of worries that plagued the Obama administration weeks before the election, chief among them may have been leaving behind an “amorphous” drone-strike program to a successor.
According to two administration officials, “accelerated work” was done in the weeks before the election to prepare explicit rules for continued targeted killing of terrorists through unmanned drone strikes. “There was concern that the levers might no longer be in our hands,” one official said. Contained in the rules were “clear standards and procedures” to ensure Mitt Romney had the correct information to target and kill terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. In Obama’s first term alone, the CIA was responsible for 300 drone strikes, causing the deaths of 2,500 people.