Global Politics

Not So Secret: US Drones

Micah-Zenko-Photo-Council-on-Foreign-Relations.jpg

Micah Zenko (Photo: Council on Foreign Relations)

Marco Werman talks with Micah Zenko, Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations, about President Obama's public remarks yesterday on the US use of drones. He was taking part in a Google-sponsored virtual town hall, and answered a question about drones from a man in Brooklyn, NY.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)

While taking part in a Google+ "hangout," or virtual town hall, Monday, President Obama was asked by a man from Brooklyn, NY about the US use of unmanned drones. (Watch the full "hangout" here.)

"As a general proposition, the question that was posed, I want to make sure the people understand, actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties," the President said.

He went on to say that "for the most part they have been very precise precision strikes against al-Qaeda and their affiliates. And we are very careful in terms of how it's been applied."

Still on the topic of drone strikes, he said that "a lot of these strikes have been in the Fata" — that refers to Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Marco Werman talks with Micah Zenko, Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations, about how surprising it is that President Obama publicly acknowledged the US use of drones in this way, and what it means for public discourse on this issue.

Zenko is the author of "Between Threats and War: U.S. Discrete Military Operations in the Post-Cold War World".

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