White House Tightens Rules on Counterterrorism Drone Strikes
WASHINGTON — President Biden has signed a classified policy limiting counterterrorism drone strikes outside conventional war zones, tightening rules that President Donald J. Trump had loosened for a 21st-century method of warfare, according to officials.
The policy, which the White House sent to the Pentagon and the C.I.A. on Friday, institutionalizes a version of temporary limits that Mr. Biden’s team quietly put in place on the day of his inauguration as a stopgap for reducing risks to civilians while the new administration reviewed the counterterrorism policies it had inherited from Mr. Trump.
A description of the policy, along with a classified new counterterrorism strategy memo Mr. Biden has also signed, suggests that amid competing priorities in a turbulent world, the United States intends to launch fewer drone strikes and commando raids away from recognized war zones than it has in the recent past.
The policy requires Mr. Biden’s approval before a suspected terrorist is…