The uncertainty of Trump's policies continues in Europe. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Jack Serle told Motherboard that "all cards are off the table" when it comes to Trump and drones. "I think we have to keep an eye on who he appoints around him," said Serle. "A leading advisor has been Michael Flynn who has spent many years deep in the US drone programme. I suppose if we see him rise high in the Trump administration then we may see some continuity, perhaps even expansion." But even Flynn's take on drone policies has been somewhat inconsistent.
"I think we have to keep an eye on who he appoints around him,"
"I think one can speculate that there will be fewer barriers to exporting drones to countries in the Middle East. Primarily I'm thinking of Jordan, because a lot of Middle Eastern countries already have drones," Gettinger told Motherboard. "The US did just put out this declaration on drone exports, but I think under a Trump administration there will be fewer barriers to arms sales generally. That's just speculation, there's no hard fact on that."In any case, Trump is now lined up to inherit a number of covert and open theaters of war in 2017, and with the use of surveillance drones in the Middle East now so deeply embedded in the US industrial and military complex, it's unlikely to see any drastic shift of focus immediately. On top of this, The Guardian has reported that Barack Obama will not be changing any policies governing drone strikes before Trump's inauguration, meaning Trump can continue, if he wishes, to conduct targeted killing as outlined in the Presidential Policy Guidance "playbook"— a 2013 document detailing the White House's counterterrorism operations."I think the only guiding principle that we have from the Trump administration is that…there'll be fewer impediments to using military force, whether it's drone strikes or air strikes," said Gettinger. "That's something that we're going to be watching develop."Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.