WASHINGTON: The administration of President Barack Obama is completing a counterterrorism manual that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations, The Washington Post reported late Saturday.
But citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper said the guidebook would contain a major exemption for the CIA's campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan.
This exemption will allow the Central Intelligence Agency to continue striking al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan for a year or more before the agency is forced to comply with more stringent rules spelled out in the document, the report said.
According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 2,627 and 3,457 people have been reportedly killed by US drones in Pakistan since 2004, including between 475 and nearly 900 civilians.
The covert strikes are publicly criticised by the Pakistani government as a violation of sovereignty but American officials believe they are a vital weapon in the war against militants.
Few of the victims are publicly identified.
The manual is expected to be submitted to Obama for final approval within weeks, the paper said.
The Post said the adoption of a formal guide to targeted killing marks a significant milestone: the institutionalisation of a practice that would have seemed anathema to many before the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The subjects covered in the playbook include the process for adding names to kill lists, the legal principles that govern when US citizens can be targeted overseas and the sequence of approvals required when the CIA or US military conduct drone strikes outside war zones, the paper said.
According to The Post, the effort to draft the playbook was nearly derailed late last year by disagreements among the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon on the criteria for lethal strikes.
They led to granting the CIA a temporary exemption for its Pakistan operations as a compromise that allowed officials to move forward with other parts of the playbook.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
Great. So USA will play by a rule book for Drone strikes in every other country, except Pakistan. The most allied ally gets bombed without notice? And not a peep from the brave fauj?
@kHaN: Bhai jan..when your country is taking billions of aid money than you dont have the guts to stay to the person who is paying to shut up........ If politicians who owns trillion of assest in Pakistan pay their taxes and give people enough than you wont have this situation at all...... Army bashing doesnt work every where sir...
agry with @Khan. We need to stand with people of FATA and stop this barbaric stuff!
The so-called nuclear power and world's fifth largest military power has its sovereignty violated everyday. And this power goes around the world with a begging bowl in one hand and a knife in the other. The knife is for all those who try to help it, or for all those who put something in its begging bowl.
US is targeting Pakistan and the Pakistan people, the government and the so called FREE media is supporting US. Strange world we live in.
After Algeria, it will not only be in Pakistan.
The work has to be done iether by pak army or by drone . In fact pakistan has lost her sovereinity .
What difference will it make? Come Imran Khan he will surely put an end to all of this!
It's not the "people" who stop the media from visiting the place, it's the Pakistani military. Sometimes they embed some journalist with their troops to a certain place "staged" in prior.
Nice word playbook.
I never understood why the people in the area don't let outsiders go in and document the tragedy caused though drones? Surely it will help their cause against them.
They didn't even let Imran Khan's peace march in.