Targeted Killing

Readings: The Case for Drones (Now Available at SSRN, No Paywall)

By Kenneth Anderson
Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 6:57 PM

With reports released this week critical of US drone strikes and targeted killing from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, this seems like a good moment to mention my own article from the June 2013 issue of Commentary magazine, "The Case for Drones".  (It has just been posted to SSRN, and my thanks to Commentary editor John Podhoretz for allowing it to be available open access.)  The article covers the major arguments around drone warfare and targeted killing; it argues for drones being ethical and effective, but does try to convey the con side.  It was prepared as my working paper for the drones debate at the Oxford Union this past April in which Ben Wittes and I took part, so it tries to be reasonably comprehensive as to the kinds of arguments arising in the debate.  (I've skimmed the various reports and see many points of disagreement, but will refrain from commenting until I've read them more closely.)