Flying into the future : drone warfare and the changing face of humanitarian law : keynote address to the 2010 Sutton Colloquium
Michael A. Newton
Host item entries:
Denver journal of international law and policy, Vol. 39, issue 4, Fall 2011, p. 601-614
The speaker quickly develops what he sees as four discrete areas where it should be looked to the future regarding drone warfare. Firstly, the application of command responsibility and the standards for assessing feasibility during drone operations. Commanders must conduct operations with strict adherence to the laws and customs of warfare. This is especially applicable in the context of drone warfare because of the pejorative caricature that commanders can afford to be cavalier because the lives of their personnel are not endangered through the conduct of drone warfare. Secondly, is the concept of effective warning dependent on the modality of the offensive technology used by the commander? Wouldn't any abstract principles created to regulate the concept of effective warning carry counterintuitive consequences? Thirdly, just because the definition of proportionality is a much more open and permissive definition than is often postulated does not remove any residual geographic dimension from the jus ad bellum analysis. Finally, the classic law of neutrality is closely related to the obligation of states to prevent their territory from being used for combatant purposes. Transnational organizations simply don't care about borders. In fact, borders affirmatively help them.