America’s reliance on secretive drone missile strikes against terror suspects has set a “dangerous precedent” that could be imitated by other countries and trigger wider wars around the world, former senior US officials said in a report Thursday.

The ex-officials acknowledged that the robotic aircraft are a useful tool that is “here to stay,” but urged President Barack Obama to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounds their use, introduce stricter rules for the strikes and take a hard look at whether the bombing raids were genuinely effective.

“The increasing use of lethal UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) may create a slippery slope leading to continual or wider wars,” said the report by a bipartisan panel sponsored by the Stimson Center think tank.

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