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Albright says drones have been 'very effective' in targeting terrorists

"I think it's one of the most complicated and fascinating debates because one of the issues that came up during the Balkans in Kosovo — it was an air war and a lot of people said 'well that's not moral, you should have boots on the ground,'" Albright said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And at the time I thought 'why should we get more people killed, why do you have to have boots on the ground when you can take care of the terrible things that are happening from the air?'

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"I do think that drones have been very effective in terms of getting rid of people that are bound and determined to attack us, but it has become a much more complicated issue and I think it should be a public discussion about the appropriateness of them."

Albright's comments come a few weeks after NBC News reported on a Department of Justice memo laying out the Obama administration's argument for when it can use drone strikes on American citizens abroad. The memo argues that a strike can be conducted on a U.S. citizen if a U.S. intelligence official has concluded that the target is an imminent threat, capturing the target is impossible, and the strike does not violate international laws of wartime concerning the use of force.

A number of congressional lawmakers have strongly criticized the administration's argument in the memo.

Additionally, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates suggested that the Obama administration add oversight for drone warfare in response to the memo.

"And so I think -- I think this idea of being able to execute, in effect, an American citizen, no matter how awful, having some third party being ... having a say in it or perhaps some -- informing the Congress or the intelligence committees or something like that ... I think some check on the ability of the president to do this has merit, as we look to the longer term future," Gates said earlier in February.