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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pentagon: Drone Strikes to Remain Indispensable Weapon Against Terrorists -- Killer drones used judiciously; civilian casualties minimized -- By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon

Drone strikes against terrorists are extremely effective and will remain an “indispensable” weapon in the war against terrorists for the foreseeable future, according to the Pentagon’s senior intelligence policymaker.

Michael G. Vickers, under secretary of defense for intelligence, said unmanned missile-firing aircraft, along with intelligence collectors and targeters, are key elements in the U.S. counterterrorism strategy and operations and will remain a top priority for the next 12 years.

“I would like to assure you that we use this instrument extremely judiciously,” Vickers said in remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California on Saturday.

“But it has been our most effective instrument broadly in this counterterrorism campaign that we’ve found ourselves in.”

Drone attacks have been “the most precise campaign in the history of warfare,” he said.

“And we do everything we can to minimize the noncombatant deaths and we do an extraordinary job,” Vickers said.

 The public comments were rare public disclosure by a senior official about the covert operations against terrorists that remain one of the Pentagon’s most closely guarded secrets.

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