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Under Donald Trump, drone strikes far exceed Obama’s numbers

Protests against drone strikes, such as this one in Pakistan in 2012, have been frequent in the past as civilian deaths in the raids have stirred widespread anger. PHOTO: Aljazeera

By S.E. Cupp | 8 May 2019

CHICAGO SUN TIMES — If I gave you a pop quiz on recent current events, I bet you’d do pretty well, thanks to a 24-hour cable news cycle, late night talk shows, social media and popular culture.

You undoubtedly know that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their first child this week. You can likely go into some detail about the Mueller report. You probably have an opinion of Attorney General William Barr.

OPINION

But what would you say if I asked you the following multiple choice question?

When it comes to President Obama’s drone wars, President Trump has:

A. Ended them

B. Continued them

C. Escalated them

You’re forgiven for not knowing the answer. It’s C. This administration has not only surpassed the previous one’s drone strike volume overseas, it has made the drone wars even more secretive, if that’s possible.

We can cobble together some reporting on the numbers, but finding exact figures on drone strikes in the Trump administration is difficult. More on that in a minute.

According to a 2018 report in The Daily Beast, Obama launched 186 drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan during his first two years in office. In Trump’s first two years, he launched 238. […]

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