Last year Trump changed his policy on the use of force overseas, including drone strikes, outside “areas of active hostilities.” We still don’t know what this new policy consists of.
That’s why have joined with 12 leading human rights organizations to call on President Trump to urgently publish his policy on the use of lethal force abroad.
The Trump Administration has refused to publicly clarify whether the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG), issued under President Obama, is still in effect. Leaks suggest President Trump has rolled back the safeguards contained within the PPG, replacing them with guidance that gives both the Pentagon and the CIA much greater freedom to carry out drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, Niger and elsewhere.
Without transparency, there can be no scrutiny – that is why we have joined with other NGOs to raise concerns that the new unpublished policy could be leading to illegal targeting of individuals outside of armed conflict, an increased number of civilian deaths, and a heightened role for the CIA in carrying out drone strikes which lack accountability and oversight.
Our joint statement urges President Trump to urgently publish his updated policy guidance, ensure that all lethal operations are in line with international law and implement effective investigations after drone strikes to ensure accountability. We are also calling on allies of the US to withhold support for operations that might be illegal.
“An area of policy as crucial as where the President can kill, should not remain hidden in the shadows. Last year alone, President Trump carried out more than three times as many strikes as Obama in Yemen and authorized two raids that killed almost a dozen children and a Navy SEAL. Congress has been clear – President Trump needs to disclose his new guidance and he needs to do so by this Monday. Only then can they, and the American public, ensure this policy is making us more, rather than less, safe.” – Jennifer Gibson, Head of the Assassinations program at Reprieve