Drone Warfare: Defending the Indefensible

Joseph A. Camilleri, ‘Drone Warfare: Defending the Indefensible’, E-International Relations, 20 July 2013.

For Obama drone strikes are part of the armoury that the United States can use to prosecute the ‘war on terror’ now in its twelfth year. In other words, the legal basis for drone warfare can be traced to the initial response formulated by the Bush administration back in September 2001. However, no official exposition over the last twelve years has satisfactorily explained in what sense this ‘war’ goes beyond hyperbolic metaphor and how it accords with the generally accepted criteria of what constitutes war.

The article hihglights the  on weak ethical and legal foundations on which drone warfare rests. Though these may not unduly trouble the policy-maker intent on securing the military and political gains such warfare can deliver, the bloback effects should be of considerable concern for they are as real as they are wide-ranging.