Biden Changes Drone Strike Policy

President Biden on Friday issued guidance requiring presidential approval for drone strikes outside of Iraq and Syria, which are the only two countries officially recognized as active US war zones.

This means that drone strikes in countries like Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan would need to be approved by President Biden. The guidance comes as the US has stepped up its air war against al-Shabaab and Somalia.

But the guidance has a loophole by allowing strikes to be ordered without White House approval in the name of “self-defense” of US troops or other partner forces. Many US airstrikes in Somalia in recent months were claimed to be done in defense of Somali government forces.