In the first nine months of his administration, President Trump has demonstrated a willingness to resort to the use of lethal force in response to a variety of global security challenges. Since taking office, the Trump administration has significantly increased lethal operations in places such as Yemen and proposed even more aggressive counterterrorism measures.
The use of armed drones and the expansive authority to use lethal force claimed by the U.S. government remain some of the most controversial aspects of U.S. counterterrorism policy. Though the Obama administration introduced limited policy constraints on the use of force aimed at increased protection of civilians, and reforms designed to increase transparency near the end of its tenure, the Trump administration appears to be rolling back these policies. Thus far, the Trump administration has expanded operations outside “hot battlefields” and delegated more strike authority to the military. Reports suggest that the new administration is proposing to go even further by loosening the limited policy constraints on the use of force and may seek to broaden the CIA’s role in conducting lethal strikes. These actions and proposals raise renewed concerns about the prospect of endless war and increased secrecy, and underscore the need for meaningful accountability and oversight of U.S. lethal operations abroad.
The Stimson Center and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic are co-hosting a panel event on issues surrounding U.S. drone policy under the Trump administration. The panel will discuss and evaluate past U.S. practice, analyze recent developments, and assess the Trump administration’s approach to the use of force, transparency, and accountability.
Date: October 11, 2017
When: 2:00 - 3:30 PM
Where: Stimson Center, 8th Floor