A former targeting professional and civilian harm mitigation advocate breaks down the Pentagon’s new 11-point action plan to reduce civilian harm in conflict.
Latest in Drones
The U.S. killing of the al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan was not justified in self-defense or under the international law of war or international human rights law. It looks more like an extrajudicial execution, or revenge murder, for past acts of terrorism.
Ukraine needs more drones. How can the U.S. best supply them?
My colleague and friend John Fabian Witt penned the best confrontation with my historical argument in "Humane," and it deserves a reaction.
Donations to U.S. law enforcement by a Chinese drone manufacturer reignited lingering questions about the risks of Chinese drone technology—and point to a larger clash developing between the U.S. and China.
On March 13 and 14, a German court considered two challenges to the U.S. drone program in the Middle East and East Africa. Both cases, brought before the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster, assert that Germany bears legal responsibility for the consequences of U.S.-led drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia that were conducted from the U.S. Air Force’s Ramstein base, located in southwestern Germany.
Editor’s Note: The armed drone is one of the most important counterterrorism instruments, and its use is both constant and controversial. The origins of this program, however, are not well known. Christopher Fuller, a historian at the University of Southampton, offers a brief history of the program and shows how it is interwoven with broader institutional changes in U.S. counterterrorism.
Editor’s Note: Drone warfare is often caricatured as remote-control fighting, more akin to playing a video game than real warfare. In an unusual Foreign Policy Essay, Dave Blair and Karen House take on this myth, detailing the costs to the operators and the conditions that increase the risks to their well-being. They offer important recommendations for how to make drone warfare less morally and psychologically hazardous for the operators.
Understanding Life and Death between War and Peace
[Update: Several people reached out after I posted last night, drawing attention to the fact that al-Mourabitoun (also spelled al Murabitun) apparently reunited with AQIM after its initial separation from the group. On the other hand, others reached out to point to indications that the particular leader at the center of the current storm—al Sahraoui—may still lead a splinter faction that resisted/resists the return to the AQIM fold.
Are we about to see a significant shift in U.S. government policy relating to the use of targeted lethal force for counterterrorism purposes?
Maybe, according to an important article by Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt in the New York Times. Here’s what you need to know: