A senior White House aide has pledged to release how many terrorism suspects and civilian casualties the US has killed in its drone strikes since 2009, the first-ever disclosure surrounding the US’s most controversial lethal operations.
Lisa Monaco, Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism and homeland security adviser, said in a Washington speech on Monday that the expanded transparency would bolster public support for drone strikes and other counter-terrorism practices that she indicated would last “for years to come”.
The long-desired disclosure will cover strikes in undeclared US battlefields, such as Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and elsewhere, rather than the active war theaters of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. There was no specific date set for release, White House officials said, though Monaco said it will occur in the “coming weeks”.
“Not only is greater transparency the right thing to do, it is the best way to maintain the legitimacy of our counter-terrorism actions and the broad support of our allies,” Monaco told the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday.