Reports: US drone command to shift from CIA to military

WASHINGTON — The White House is trying to shift total responsibility for the controversial US drone program to the US military and out of the hands of the CIA, according to media reports Thursday.

According to a draft directive circulating among key security officials, the White House wants to make sure the covert drone programme falls under the international laws of war, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio (NPR) reported.

Under international law, the drone attacks would require the consent of affected governments, officials said.

Currently, both the military and the CIA operate drone attacks, which have provoked outrage in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere for collateral civilian losses. The drones have targeted terrorists in those countries.

During confirmation hearings for the new head of the CIA John Brennan, both Republicans and Democrats criticized the Obama administration for its secrecy about the use of drones.

NPR reported that the White House had to promise more transparency in the drone programme in order to get the Senate to approve Brennan as the new CIA director.

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