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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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The Future of Drone Warfare

The Future of Drone Warfare

Research Challenges and Policy Options

(p.213) Conclusion The Future of Drone Warfare
Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict

David Cortright

Rachel Fairhurst

University of Chicago Press

The chapter summarizes the pressing concerns raised by current U.S. drones policy and reviews ethical, legal, strategic, and human rights concerns about the consequences of using these weapons. The authors examine the many unanswered questions about drone weapons that require more empirical investigation. Although Americans approve of drone strikes against terrorists abroad and feel safer as a result (according to opinion polls) many policy experts question whether targeted killing is an effective strategy for preventing violent extremism. U.S. officials argue that drone strikes against terrorists are legitimate acts of self-defence, but some legal experts doubt the legality of targeted killing outside a recognized armed conflict zone. The authors note that U.S drone policies could have detrimental effects on international law and global security in the future. The chapter concludes by presenting possible options for reform of U.S. drones policy, focusing on the need for greater transparency, public oversight, and legal accountability.

Keywords:   proliferation, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, accountability, blow back, counterterrorism, AUMF

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