Truman National Security Project

Huffington Post: Drones: An Outlier in a Transparent Presidency

By Truman Project Staff | 1.16.13

Writing for the Huffington Post, Truman Fellow Sarah Holewinski calls for the Obama administration to set a positive global precedent by increasing the transparency of its drone program.

President Obama is quite literally writing his legacy on the use of force during his second term. According to media reports, the administration is codifying the hows and whys of its drone policy in a handbook. The assumption is that the United States will put into doctrine what it has already created in practice: new rules for a new global reality with a newish technology.

Leave aside for a minute the fact that there already exists a rulebook governing drone use, called international law. If the new rulebook clarifies some of the outstanding questions surrounding U.S. drone use, if its elements show an adherence to international laws (both in practice and in spirit), and if the whole of the rulebook considers the precedent it will set for the rest of the world, then this is an effort that should be welcomed, because the explanations about covert drone use coming from top officials have so far been less than explanatory (Jeh Johnson’s recent remarks being the exception, though they’re still short on detail).

Read the entire article here.