Title: Drone warfare and the law of armed conflict
Article Preview :

"[I]n all of our operations involving the use of force, including those in the armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces, the Obama Administration is committed by word and deed to conducting ourselves in accordance with all applicable law.... [I]t is the considered view of this Administration ... that U.S. targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war."

Harold Koh, U.S. State Department Legal Adviser (1)

"My concern is that these drones, these Predators, are being operated in a framework which may well violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law."

--Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions (2)

The United States has increasingly relied upon unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or "drones," to target and kill enemies in its current armed conflicts. Drone strikes have proven to be spectacularly successful--both in terms of finding and killing targeted enemies and in avoiding most of the challenges and controversies that accompany using traditional forces. However, critics have begun to challenge on a number of grounds the legality and morality of using drones to kill belligerents in the non-traditional conflicts in which the United States continues to fight. As drones become a growing fixture in the application of modern military force, it bears examining whether their use for lethal targeting operations violates the letter or spirit of the law of armed conflict. In this article I identify the legal framework and sources of law applicable to the current conflicts in which drones are employed," examine whether, and if so in what circumstances, using drones for targeting operations violates the jus in bello principles of proportionality, military necessity, distinction, and humanity; and determine what legal boundaries or limitations apply to the seemingly limitless capabilities of drone warfare. I then evaluate whether the law of armed conflict is adequate for dealing with the use of drones to target belligerents and terrorists in this nontraditional armed conflict and ascertain whether new rules or laws are needed to govern their use. I conclude by proposing legal and policy guidelines for the lawful use of drones in armed conflict.

**********

In an effort to reach remote territory and targets, save American blood and treasure, achieve optimal accuracy and efficiency in targeting operations, and perhaps to avoid the controversies (3) surrounding the insertion of ground forces, the United States has increasingly relied upon unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or "drones," (4) to target and kill enemies in its current armed conflicts. (5) The United States has utilized drones to support combat and counterterrorism efforts across its theaters of armed conflict. (6) Drone targeting has proven to be spectacularly successful--both in terms of finding and killing targeted enemies and in avoiding most of the challenges and controversies that accompany using traditional forces. However, critics have begun to challenge on a number of grounds the legality and morality of using drones to kill belligerents in the non-traditional conflicts in...

...
Source Citation (MLA 8 th Edition)
Vogel, Ryan J. "Drone warfare and the law of armed conflict." Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Winter 2010, p. 101+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 21 May 2019.

You Are Viewing A Preview Page of the Full ArticleThe article found is from the Academic OneFile database.

You may need to log in through your institution or contact your library to obtain proper credentials.