By Rebecca Kheel - 03/07/16 05:47 PM EST
THE TOPLINE: Following years of criticism, the Obama administration plans to start revealing the number of people killed by U.S. drone strikes.
The announcement came Monday from Obama's counterterrorism and homeland security adviser.
The Hill's Kristina Wong has the story:
"Going forward, these figures will be provided annually," Lisa Monaco, Obama's counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, announced Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations.
She called it the 'best thing to do' to help maintain the legitimacy of U.S. counterterrorism operations.
'This is a reflection of the president's commitment to transparency,' Monaco added."
US STRIKES TERROR GROUP IN SOMALIA: In other drone-related news, the Pentagon announced Monday that it carried out an airstrike in Somalia over the weekend.
The strike at an al-Shabab training camp killed more than 150 fighters. It was carried out Saturday by unmanned and manned aircraft.
The fighters posed an "imminent" threat to U.S. and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a written statement.
FORMER PETRAEUS ADVISER BASHES TRUMP: Add another name to the list of people bashing Republican presidential frontrunner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPence on Trump threats to sue accusers: He's entitled to defend reputation Campaign manager: Trump team vetting cabinet members Clinton gets birthday cheer on Hispanic variety show MORE over his statements on torture: Army Col. Peter Mansoor.
The Hill's Kristina Wong has an interview with Mansoor where he predicts a "shit storm" if Trump were to follow through on torture orders.
Here's a bit of the interview:
Retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor, who served as David Petraeus's right hand in Iraq, says Donald Trump would be a "foreign policy disaster for the United States."
"He'd be a loose cannon who would shoot from the hip. He would endanger America's status in the world, he would dismay our allies and empower our adversaries," Mansoor said in an interview with The Hill. "Other than that it'd be a great idea to have him as president."
Mansoor served 26 years in the Army, including as executive officer to Petraeus during the Iraq surge.
Mansoor is one of more than 100 signatories of an open letter by leading Republican defense experts who oppose Trump's candidacy. He's notable as one of several military veterans signing the letter.
SENATORS QUESTION PENTAGON WATCHDOG: The leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee are questioning the accuracy of a special inspector general's scathing reports about the Pentagon's reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.
"We believe that there is a risk that the special projects work may not be as accurate, objective and complete as the work that is being conducted using published professional standards, as is the case with the CNG [compressed natural gas] station report" Sens. John McCainJohn McCainGOP gets chance to run on ObamaCare Political map shifts on Trump The lazy political writing of 'SNL' MORE (R-Ariz.), the committee chairman, and Jack ReedJack ReedArmani, Batali among guests at White House state dinner Overnight Finance: Jobless claims near record low | Cops bust IRS phone scam in India | Republican demands Iran sanctions docs Senate Dems demand answers from Wells Fargo over treatment of military MORE (D-R.I.), ranking member, wrote in a letter to Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko.
"To avoid misrepresenting the quality and rigor of the work to those who might use it, such as policy makers in Congress, we think it is important to understand what policies and procedures the Office of Special Projects is following to ensure quality, and how those processes were applied in the drafting of the CNG report," they added.
At issue is SIGAR's Office of Special Projects. Last year, the office issued a headline-grabbing report that said a Pentagon task force spent $43 million building a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan.
NEW JOB: Thomas Mahnken joined the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments on Monday as its president and CEO. From 2006 to 2009, Mahnken was the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for policy planning. He has served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve for more than 20 years, including tours in Iraq and Kosovo. Before joining CSBA, he taught strategy at the U.S. Naval War College and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:
The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing with Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command; Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of U. S. Africa Command; and Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, 9:30 a.m. at Dirksen G50.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on reauthorizing the State Department at 10 a.m. at Dirksen 419.
A Senate Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on Air Force modernization at 2:30 p.m. at Russell 222.
Another Senate Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on military personnel at 2:30 p.m. at Hart 216.
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