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National Security Task Force Issues Recommendations On U.S. Drone Policy

June 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC, June 26, 2014 — A report on how the United States uses drones in the national security arena was released today by the Stimson Center’s Task Force on U.S. Drone Policy. Covington & Burling’s Peter Lichtenbaum was a member of the nonpartisan 10-member task force co-chaired by General John P. Abizaid (US Army, Ret.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command, and Rosa Brooks, former Counselor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Mr. Lichtenbaum, co-chair of the firm’s International Trade and Finance practice group and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, addressed the task force’s recommendations regarding export controls on drones, which are also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

One of the task force’s recommendations was to clarify which UAVs are controlled by the State Department and which are controlled by the Commerce Department. “That uncertainty has a chilling effect on business and also creates delay and confusion within government,” Mr. Lichtenbaum said. “Greater clarity would be consistent with the Administration’s Export Control Reform initiative, which is a laudable effort to clarify and streamline U.S. export controls.”

The task force’s recommendations contained in the 77-page report are the product of a yearlong study that brought together legal, national security, political and military experts, as well as representatives from the defense industry and civil society groups.

To read the full report, click here.

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