CIA director nominee John Brennan has defended the US drone-strikes programme at a Senate confirmation hearing.
Mr Brennan said the US only took such action as a last resort and was careful to prevent civilian deaths.
During later questions, Mr Brennan said some Americans believe that strikes are used to punish for past transgressions.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. "We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat."