Since President Obama took office in 2009, the Predator drone and other aircraft have carried out nearly 500 strikes in areas that aren't in combat zones such as Syria and Afghanistan, according to a new official report. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

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An Afghan commando stands on the tarmac, wearing night vision gear. The elite commandos are about to fly into an area controlled by Taliban fighters. Their mission: to sweep a village for Taliban fighters. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Under U.S. Air Cover, Afghan Commandos Chase The Elusive Taliban

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Airmen use a ground-control station cockpit to control remotely piloted aircraft Nov. 17 during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nev. The Pentagon plans to remotely piloted aircraft flights by as much as 50 percent in the next few years to meet increased needs for surveillance, reconnaissance and lethal airstrikes around the world. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images hide caption

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Air Force Unveils Plan To Improve Conditions For Drone Operators

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The Drone War's Bottleneck: Too Many Targets, Not Enough Pilots

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An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, in 2010. A new report questions the U.S. policy of using armed drones abroad to carry out attacks on suspected terrorists. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

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A U.S. drone in the sky over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

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Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday. Dennis Brack/pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Last month, protesters in Multan, Pakistan, expressed their anger about U.S. drone strikes. S.S. Mirza/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Philip Reeves discusses the Amnesty International report on U.S. drone strikes

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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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From 'Morning Edition': Dina Temple-Raston reports

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