US Soups Up Kill List, Digs In for 10-Year Drone War

Obama intent on making it a permanent feature of US policy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2012 10:40 AM CDT
A student pilot and sensor operator control a MQ-9 Reaper in a ground-based cockpit during a training mission flown from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York, June 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/TSgt Ricky Best, Defense Department)

(Newser) – If you thought President Obama's "kill list" was a simple, shopping list-style affair, think again. The military has spent the past two years developing what it calls a "disposition matrix," a complex database keeping tabs on targets and plans to eliminate them, the Washington Post reports. What's more, the administration expects to keep adding names to the list for years, with senior officials saying such assassinations are likely to continue for at least another decade.

Officials say the matrix is part of an effort to make counterterrorism a permanent feature of US policy. Adviser John Brennan is working on codifying Obama's methods for future administrations, while David Petraeus is requesting an expansion of the CIA's drone fleet. The US Joint Special Operations Command has built a secret targeting center 15 minutes away from the White House, even as it deploys commando teams to suspected hotbeds throughout Africa. "We are looking at something that is potentially indefinite," the CIA's former deputy director of counterterrorism warns. For the full, extensive piece, click here. (It includes the factoid that the number of deaths in the drone campaign will soon surpass the number killed in the 9/11 attacks.)

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