Obama Administration Plans to Extend “War on Terror” For at Least Another Decade

For two years, the Obama administration has been secretly creating a new terrorist targeting list called the “disposition matrix.” The matrix contains the names of suspected terrorism suspects matched against the collective resources being used to pursue them, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists and the reach of American drone strikes. The conventional wars in the middle east may be winding down but there is broad consensus among senior Obama administration officials that these operations are likely to be extended at least another decade while some say there is no clear end in sight.

“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us,” a senior administration official said. “It’s a necessary part of what we do. . . .We’re not going to wind up in 10 years in a world of everybody holding hands and saying, ‘We love America.’ ”

The number of militants and civilians killed in drone strikes over the past 10 years will soon exceed 3,000 by various estimates, surpassing the number of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan wants to codify the administration’s approach to generating capture/kill lists to guide future administrations through the counterterrorism processes that Obama has embraced. CIA Director David H. Petraeus is pushing for an expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones. The proposal reflects the agency’s transformation into a paramilitary force.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made it clear that if elected he would continue the drone campaign. “We can’t kill our way out of this,” he said, but added later that Obama was “right to up the usage” of drone strikes and that he would do the same.

 

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