"A game of drones" : unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unsettled legal questions
Maritza S. Ryan
The fundamentals of counterterrorism law
Chicago : Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, American Bar Association, 2014
Just as the strikes by ever more technically sophisticated drones have proliferated, so have the vigorous debates regarding their legality. This chapter aims to examine the legal arguments regarding the remote targeting and killing of suspected terrorist operatives : is the proper legal framework that of the law of armed conflict, international law, domestic law, or perhaps a combiantion of some or all of them? Does it matter whether the person at thte computer toggle switch, controlling the UAV and activating its weapons system from perhaps thousands of miles aways, wears a military unifrom or civilian clothes? Is a designated target's American citizenship - or, for that matter, his or her location on the globe - relevant? How does the perceived lawfulness of drone strikes under international law shape their effectiveness as a leading component of a national strategy?