Administration's 'permanent' plans to fight terrorism
Future of targeted killing program
- Duration 3:48
- Date Oct 24, 2012
Future of targeted killing program
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There's a new report in the Washington Post revealing the secret plans by the Obama administration to fight what amounts to a permanent war on terrorism.
The three part series outlines a blueprint that guides the hunt for terrorists and the program of targeted killings.
The effort includes contingency plans for dealing with terror suspects have been identified and located but remain beyond the reach.
Of killer drones.
Greg Miller is the Washington post's intelligence reporter and the lead reporter.
On this story it's a fascinating piece of business it shows great how much things have changed.
In terms of our attitudes toward going after terrorists.
Since the original September 11 attacks.
John absolutely right I think that's one of the most important points to take away here is that.
You know this is a country throughout its history it was very uncomfortable with the idea of assassination or targeted killing.
And then after 9/11 embraced it in what many people probably considered.
A very a very short term basis very finite an emergency basis.
But now we know that -- this administration is mapping out plans that would sustained targeted killings for perhaps as long as a decade or maybe even more.
You say that we have reached a number of roughly 3000.
Taken out in -- -- drone strikes so we're we're we're closing in on the number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks.
Yeah that's one of the milestones out there I mean there are no really.
Proven accounts of how many casualties there have been in the drone campaign but most estimates put it.
Right in the vicinity of about 3000 are approaching 3000 which is.
How many were killed obviously and one day on September 11 so.
Over the past ten years that that that number of those killed in drone strikes which includes both militants and some civilians.
Has been has been growing.
But as you heard in the foreign policy debate governor Romney friends and said we cannot kill our way out.
Of the terrorism problem.
Part of your reporting suggests that this this matrix that is being built is is being built sort of for for.
Yeah that's right in that and and governor Romney's point is one that many in this administration have echoed that something you hear frequently that there's a realization we can't kill our way out of this.
But the alternatives are scarce and this is seen is that the do the drone strikes are seen as such an effective tool.
That time that nobody is proposing setting those aside for right now so I mean it it's just something that's gonna continue for a long time any other.
The other solution some of which governor Romney alluded to -- that debate are harder they are getting at the root causes of radicalization and and changing.
Opinions and attitudes in other parts of the world.
The -- drone strikes can work in places like Pakistan when the Pakistani government approves them but.
Certainly there are people who we'd like to take out in places like Egypt right what happens if if we find one of these.
Would be terrorists in Egypt.
Right well let's what this that's what this -- position matrix as it's called as it is about it is.
It is mapping out those kinds of contingencies because you're right the drone strikes that we've known and written about for the past five or so years.
And -- happened in three places in Pakistan in Yemen and in Somalia.
But the turmoil across the Middle East and North Africa.
Now points to the possibility that you could have al-Qaeda elements emerging surfacing in places where you don't have US -- -- so.
This you know this is an exercise in trying to -- what do you do in those circumstances.
Especially since some of these.
US counterterrorism relationships with countries like Egypt have been turned completely upside down.
You know -- Greg Miller is the intelligence reporter of the Washington Post it's a fascinating series running in the post.
Greg thank you.