In a foreign policy speech Wednesday, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his plans to use controversial drone strikes overseas “when necessary.”
“[I]n taking direct action, we must uphold standards that reflect our values,” Obama said at a West Point graduation ceremony, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “That means taking strikes only when we face a continuing, imminent threat, and only where there is near certainty of no civilian casualties.”
“For our actions should meet a simple test: we must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield,” said Obama.
Obama also called on his administration to be more transparent when it conducts its drone strikes, which have been criticised for lacking clear standards on when and how they are used against foreign and American citizens abroad.
“I also believe we [have to] be more transparent about both the basis for our actions, and the manner in which they are carried out,” Obama continued. “Our intelligence community has done outstanding work and we must continue to protect sources and methods. But, when we cannot explain our efforts clearly and publicly, we face terrorist propaganda and international suspicion; we erode legitimacy with our partners and our people; and we reduce accountability in our own government.”
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