US President Barack Obama on Friday defended the policy of use of unmanned drones against terrorists and said that such strikes are necessary for saving the lives of millions of Americans around the world but also hinted curtailing such strike.
Obama, however, said that there should be no civil casualty in such drone strikes and authorities should be sure of their target.
“We are at war with an organisation that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first,” Obama said while giving a renewed push to shut Guantanamo Bay and lifted a moratorium on prisoner transfers to Yemen.
While trying to address criticism over drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen, Obama said that America’s legitimate claim of self-defence can’t be the end of the discussion. “To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance,” US President said, adding that drone strike may be contained but they will not be abandoned altogether.
However, Obama was stopped twice during his speech at National Defence University in Washington DC by a woman speaker who pointed out at a hunger going on Guantnamo Bay.
“Guantanamo has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law,” said Obama while urging US Congress for not to block his efforts to transfer the facility’s inmates to American high-security jails.
Earlier, a Presidential Policy guidance for drone strike was signed to determine where the drone strikes can be used to target terrorists and the policy had curtailed the instances in which drones can be used apart from overt war zones as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
US’s Human rights groups have been criticizing the country’s policy of conducting drones to kill terror suspects.