“As Donald Trump assumes office today [1/20/2017], he inherits a targeted killing program that has been the cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism strategy over the past eight years. On January 23, 2009, just three days into his presidency, President Obama authorized his first kinetic military action: two drone strikes, three hours apart, in Waziristan, Pakistan, that killed as many as twenty civilians. Two terms and 540 strikes later, Obama leaves the White House after having vastly expanding and normalizing the use of armed drones for counterterrorism and close air support operations in non-battlefield settings—namely Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.
President Obama deserves credit for even acknowledging the existence of the targeted killing program (something his predecessor did not do), and for increasing transparency into the internal processes that purportedly guided the authorization of drone strikes. However, many needed reforms were left undone—in large part because there was zero pressure from congressional members, who, with few exceptions, were the biggest cheerleaders of drone strikes.”
– Micah Zenko, “Obama’s Final Drone Strike,” cfr.or, January 20, 2017