After escalating one of the most lethal covert operations in U.S. history, President Obama finally made a public estimate of the civilian cost of the nation’s secret drone program, which has targeted Islamic militants in remote corners of the globe.The White House said Friday that somewhere between 64 and 116 civilians had been wrongly killed in 473 drone strikes launched by CIA and U.S. military special operators between Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, and Dec. 31 of last year. The disclosure shed light on the shadowy counterterrorism campaign that has revolutionized modern warfare.
Those strikes killed between 2,372 and 2,581 militants, officials said.
“We acknowledge these assessments may be imperfect,” said a senior administration official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. Determining exact figures is difficult because drone strikes frequently take place in ‘non-permissive environments,’ ” the official said.Okay, I know what "violent extremism," "man-caused disasters" and "workplace violence" are.
But "non-permissive environments"?
I think I need some help to decode that one.