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WaPo on Obama’s Kill Lists, Disposition Matrices, and Nonexistent Exit Strategies


If you’re hoping the president’s controversial kill list will go the way of the bayonet sometime soon, don’t hold your breath. Today’s Washington Post takes an in-depth look at the White House’s terrorist-hunting strategies, which indicate that kill lists and drone strikes will probably be around for a while. According to Greg Miller’s reporting, the creation of a new blueprint for keeping track of what resources are being targeted at which terrorists, called the “disposition matrix,” is part of a strategy that administration officials say will continue for at least ten more years.

Paul Pillar, former deputy director of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, told Miller that “we are looking at something that is potentially indefinite.” Meaning, our drones don’t seem to have an exit strategy. And the jury’s still out on the long-term efficacy of the strikes:

“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.’ ”


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