A game of drones : the legality of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in targeted strikes and targeted killings
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AALCO Journal ef International Law, Vol 2, Issue 1, 2013, p. 165-180
Parthan Shiv Vishvanathan
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially known as drones, by the United States of America is not a new phenomenon. However, while military forces have used these remotely piloted drones for decades, it is over the last decade that they have seen use as an offensive weapon used for military attacks. While currently drones still require human 'operators' it is foreseeable that these drones will in the future be programmed to be increasingly autonomous. The use of these pilotless drones in active combat raises several ethical, moral and legal questions that must be answered. The aim of this paper is to answer the legal question of whether the use of these drones in targeted killings violates the rules in international humanitarian law.