November 25, 2013
When missiles fired by CIA drones slammed into Yemen and Pakistan last week, the attacks ended a period of relative quiet for the Obama administration’s lethal counterterrorism program. They also served as a reminder that the CIA is not ready to relinquish its role in the drone war.
Six months after President Obama signaled his desire to shift the campaign to the Defense Department, the CIA’s drone operations center in Langley, Va., is still behind the vast majority of strikes.
And although senior CIA and Pentagon officials have held a series of meetings in recent months aimed at finding a way for the military’s elite U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to take over the job, U.S. officials said the White House vision remains a distant goal.