President Donald Trump is set to water down limits imposed by his predecessor Barack Obama on drone strikes and commando raids abroad, allowing special forces and the CIA to take out jihadis outside designated conflict zones.
The new strategy would make possible raids against radical Islamists outside countries where the U.S. is already operating, such as Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, officials familiar with the preparations inside the Trump administration told the New York Times.
The changes will allow the targeting of low-level foot soldiers, whereas previously the Obama administration had restricted capture-and-kill missions to radical Islamist leaders and those who posed a significant and immediate security threat to the United States.
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A second change would also pave the way for less vetting before the launch of a drone strike or a commando raid. The changes were proposed by Trump’s top national security advisers, the Times reported.