US President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing US officials.

The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration of limiting the CIA's paramilitary role, the newspaper reported. The White House, the US Department of Defence and the CIA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Obama had sought to influence global guidelines for the use of drone strikes as other nations began pursuing their own drone programmes. The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill suspected militant in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

Take a look: US drone strikes in Pakistan see 631pc increase under Obama

Strikes by missile-armed predator and reaper drones against oversea targets began under former President George W Bush and were expanded by Obama.

Critics of the targeted killing programme question whether the strikes create more militants than they kill. They cite the spread of militant organisations and militant attacks throughout the world as evidence that targeted killings may be exacerbating the problem.

In July, the US government accepted responsibility for inadvertently killing up to 116 civilians in strikes in countries where America is not at war.

Opinion

Editorial

Updated 20 May, 2022

TTP peace talks

ANOTHER attempt to sue for peace with the outlawed TTP is being made, again facilitated by the Afghan Taliban that...
20 May, 2022

Beyond the law

THE senior judiciary should take care not to overreach in its zeal to ‘fix’ issues it ideally need not worry...
20 May, 2022

Political musical chairs

YET another political crisis is brewing in Balochistan, where old rivals Jam Kamal Khan Alyani and Sardar Yar...
Updated 19 May, 2022

To be or not to be

The same decision taken weeks or months from now will have far more devastating consequences.
19 May, 2022

Impact on Punjab

THE Supreme Court judgement interpreting the issue of disqualification of parliamentarians under Article 63A of the...
19 May, 2022

Forest fires

THOUGH spot and forest fires have become a perennial phenomenon especially in peak summer, the recent blazes —...