When asked about CIA remotely piloted aircraft strikes against terrorists outside of war zones, John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to be the next CIA director, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the White House has a stringent set of rules and procedures in place before “any action is contemplated.” During his Feb. 7 confirmation hearing, Brennan said, as White House counterterrorism adviser, he helped set up an effort between government agencies to ensure these actions are taken within the law. “We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there’s no other alternative,” he said. Still, there needs to be more efforts by the executive branch to explain this counterterrorism program to the public, as there is a “misimpression” that these strikes are intended to punish terrorists for past transgressions, said Brennan. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. There’s “a misunderstanding of what we do as a government and the care that we take and the agony that we go through to make sure that we do not have any collateral injuries or deaths,” said Brennan.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.