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And none of these figures include civilian casualties inside war zones, which are less clearly defined in the modern war on terror than in traditional battlefield situations. One investigation, for instance, found that U.S. drones targeting just 41 men killed an additional 1,147 people in the process.
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Obama's institutionalization of drone warfare, which began under President George W. Bush but dramatically accelerated during his successor's tenure, suggests that for the foreseeable future the tactic is here to stay. "One of the things Obama has had to struggle with and the next president will, too, is that the use of military power — the United States killing people overseas — occurs so frequently now that it just kind of washes over the debate," said former senior Obama adviser Derek Chollet. "It has become almost too easy. No one even notices it any more. It’s just a constant."