Latest in Drones

Foreign Policy Essay

(Un)Dignified Killer Robots? The Problem with the Human Dignity Argument

Editor's Note: Autonomous weapons systems are often vilified as “killer robots” that will slay thousands without compunction – arguments that the systems’ proponents often dismiss with a wave of their hands. Adam Saxton, a research intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies , argues that the picture is neither black nor white. Autonomous weapons do pose ethical issues in the conduct of warfare, but often the arguments for or against them caricature the weapons and misunderstand their actual use.

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The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Podcast: Lisa Monaco on America’s Counterterrorism Strategy against ISIS and Al Qaeda

This week, the president’s Homeland Security Advisor, Lisa Monaco, made news by announcing that the White House will release long sought data on the U.S. drone program. An important development, no doubt.

But that's not all she said.

Targeted Killing

Grading the Obama Administration's Progress on Drone Policy

In his May 2013 speech at National Defense University, President Obama called for new ways to think about drones and the United States’ policy on using these systems in counterterrorism operations. Now, nearly 3 years later, the Obama administration is in danger of leaving a legacy on drones that is long on rhetoric but short on substance.

Executive Power

Obama's Legacy: Law, Transparency, and the Politics of Anguish

Back in November, The Hill reported that the White House is looking into increasing the transparency of the drone program before President Obama’s imminent departure from office:

The White House wants to reduce the secrecy surrounding lethal drone strikes and other counterterrorism efforts, with an eye on President Obama's legacy when he leaves office in 14 months.

Drones

Drone Registration, Part II

In an earlier post, I advanced the idea that the drone registration process could be used to make actual drone operation safer.

In principle, there are two approaches to make drone operation safer. Approach 1 (the approach I took in my original posting) is to maintain a keep-out bubble around airplanes in flight by giving airplanes a transmitter that could deactivate nearby drones. Approach 2 is to enforce no-fly zones around sensitive areas (such as airports).

Drones: Domestic Use

Drone Registration Plan from US Department of Transportation

According to NBC News (October 16, 2015), the U.S. Department of Transportation is about to announce a plan to require every purchaser of a drone to register it with the U.S. government. The plan is apparently driven by concerns about close calls between drones and aircraft nearby airports, though there are many other public safety issues associated with drones as well.

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