The Obama administration is planning to launch a drone strike-like program to ensure the security the American citizens it wants to target are protected, the White House announced Wednesday.
The Defense Department’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the National Security Council are also in the early stages of exploring a potential drone strike strategy, according to a draft document obtained by The Associated Press.
“We are in the process of developing a new way to ensure that we do not have American citizens killed in these attacks, which is a vital part of our fight against the Islamic State (IS),” said Gen. David Deptula, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“Our objective is to have an attack-like capability that can protect our own citizens and ensure the safety of our citizens and our partners.
The next steps will be as soon as we can find the right partner.”
The Obama administration also plans to take steps to bolster the defenses of U.S. and coalition forces.
The administration has been criticized for failing to respond to the recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, which killed 130 people.
The Obama Administration also faces criticism for its slow response to the deadly bombings in Afghanistan in 2014, in which a suicide bomber killed 166 people.
The Obama Administration has also been criticized by some lawmakers for failing in its efforts to get weapons to countries such as Yemen and Libya, two nations ravaged by the Islamic militants.
The White House did not disclose details of the new drone program, which could not be identified due to a gag order imposed by Congress.
A draft of the plan could be released in a few weeks, the AP reported.
The drone program would allow the military to launch “near-real-time” strikes on targets overseas.
The White House has said the strike would be limited to “individuals or small groups of militants” but did not specify how many people would be targeted.