Drones

Article

Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapon Systems: Why a Ban Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can

Authors: Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson

Grounded in a realistic assessment of technology, Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson outline a practical alternative with which to evaluate the use of autonomous weaponry that incorporates codes of conduct based on traditional legal and ethical principles governing weapons and warfare.

See more in United States; Drones; International Law

Ask CFR Experts

What right does the United States have to use drones?

Due to the 9/11 attacks and the continued threat posed by international terrorism, the United States claims it is "currently at war with al-Qaeda and its associated forces," a conflict that extends beyond traditional battlefield settings to any country that is "unwilling or unable" to take action itself. The United States reserves the right to conduct targeted killings, although only against "senior" members of al-Qaeda who "pose an imminent threat the United States of America." Although the U.S. military has a vast array of tools in its arsenal, the primary vehicle for its targeted killings program are drones, which have been used in over 95 percent of the 420—and counting—targeted killings over the last decade.

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See more in United States; Drones; International Law

Article

Killing Isn't Cool

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

Micah Zenko says, "Military officials increasingly believe that the Obama administration must think through its current practices and policies of targeted killings, and consider how they can be reformed, or risk others following in U.S. footsteps."

See more in United States; Drones

Article

Flyover Country

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

Micah Zenko says, "The Obama administration's lack of a military response in Algeria reflects how sovereign states routinely constrain U.S. intelligence and military activities."

See more in Algeria; United States; Drones

News Release

President Obama Should Limit Drone Killings, Argues Micah Zenko in New Report

U.S. drone strike policies undermine the nation's foreign policy objectives and have resulted in the loss of hundreds of innocent civilian lives, according to a report by CFR Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko from the Center for Preventive Action. Zenko calls for greater oversight of U.S. drone strikes from the Obama administration, Congress, and the international community.

See more in Yemen; Drones; Conflict Prevention