Majority of Americans support drones strikes on foreigners, not US citizens: Poll
Washington, Feb. 13 : Americans overwhelmingly approve of President Barack Obama's use of drones to kill foreign terrorists, but do not support it when the target is a U.S. citizen, a poll has revealed.
According to the CBS News Poll, 71 percent of Americans back the drone war, which began under President George W. Bush and was expanded under Obama as compared to only 20 percent who oppose the programme.
Support for drone strikes is high across party lines as 78 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents are supportive of the policy, Politico reports.
The poll found that Americans are, however, not as certain about targeting U.S. citizens abroad who have become terrorists.
A plurality, 49 percent support the programme, and 38 percent oppose killing American terrorists.
Nearly 58 percent of Republicans back the idea, along with 48 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of independents.
Independents were the ones, and not Democrats, who highly opposed the drone programme, as a quarter of independents opposed the drone war, and 43 percent opposed targeting American citizens.
According to the report, drones have become a crucial part of the War in Afghanistan and the CIA's covert war against terrorists in Yemen and Pakistan.
The military launched an average of 33 drone strikes a month in Afghanistan in 2012, the report said.
A Department of Justice white paper drawn up to lay out the legal justification for the drone strike that killed Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen working for Al Qaeda in Yemen, leaked early this month and drew outrage for civil libertarians, it added.