President Obama speaks about his administration's drone and counterterrorism policies at the National Defense University on Thursday. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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An American flag flying over Camp VI, where detainees are housed at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. Bob Strong /Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Paul Applewhite of Applewhite Aero isn't allowed to fly this 3-pound Styrofoam plane. That's because he has added circuitry to make it autonomous — it can find its way to specified coordinates — which means it's an unmanned aerial vehicle requiring a special testing permit. Martin Kaste/NPR hide caption

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An unmanned drone patrols the U.S.-Canadian border. Attorney General Eric Holder, in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the president could in an "extraordinary circumstance" order a drone strike inside the country. U.S. Customs and Border Protection /AP hide caption

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Joe Kummer, president of Propulsive Wing in Elbridge, N.Y., is rooting for having a drone test site in upstate New York. He says it could save him trips to the West Coast to try out new drone prototypes. Ryan Delaney/WRVO hide caption

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Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announces a new medal that recognizes combat contributions made far from the battlefield. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to be the next CIA director, worked closely with Saudi Arabia to set up a secret U.S. drone base there, The New York Times reported. Brennan's confirmation hearing is Thursday. Kevin Dietsch /UPI /Landov hide caption

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AeroVironment's Raven drone is used for military surveillance and can be launched by hand. Courtesy of AeroVironment Inc. hide caption

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