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Drones and the Future of Armed ConflictEthical, Legal, and Strategic Implications$
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David Cortright, Rachel Fairhurst, and Kristen Wall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226258058

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226258195.001.0001

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Assessing the Debate on Drone Warfare

Assessing the Debate on Drone Warfare

(p.1) Chapter One Assessing the Debate on Drone Warfare
Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict

David Cortright

Rachel Fairhurst

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the latest developments in the US use of drone weapons. In recent years the United States has launched hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries, stirring public debate about the ethical, legal, strategic and human rights consequences of using robotic weapons. The pledges of the Obama administration to provide greater transparency and accountability in drone operations remain largely unfulfilled. The resulting lack of accurate information hinders the ability to judge the morality and legality of US drone policy. The authors ask whether the availability of drone weapons increases the propensity of political leaders to resort to the use of military force. Drones weapons have certain tactical advantages because of their ability to loiter over a target, but their strategic value as a means of countering terrorism is questionable.

Keywords:   Obama administration, transparency, casualties, counterterrorism strategy

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