Task force to study drone use in counter-terror ops

May 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- A task force from a U.S. think tank is conducting a 15-month study on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the United States in counter-terrorism.

The task force from the Stimson Center is being led by retired U.S. Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, the former commander of the U.S. Central Command. It is to will bring together legal, national security, political and military experts and representatives from the defense industry and civil society groups.

Vice chairwoman of the group, which will formulate non-partisan policy recommendations on the use of UAVs, is Rosa Brooks, former counselor to the undersecretary of defense for policy and a professor of law at Georgetown University.

"In his National Defense University speech on drones and counter-terrorism last week, President Obama maintained that ensuring minimum collateral damage, guaranteeing accountability and oversight, and safeguarding United States national security are difficult and sometimes conflicting issues," said Stimson President and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Laipson.

"President Obama pledged to explore options for addressing these concerns, and our hope is that the task force's work can contribute to this process in a meaningful way.

"The challenge for U.S. policy is to achieve the delicate balance between ensuring proactive security capabilities and preventing the compromise of core American values," she said.

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