This article examines whether American drone-based targeted killing program represents a fundamentally new challenge to the traditional legal and ethical standards of armed conflict. It argues that the novelty of drones flows less from the technology itself than from the Obama administration’s articulation of a presumptive right of anticipatory self-defense, which allows it to strike anywhere in the world where al Qaeda and its allies are present. It highlights five new legal and ethical dimensions to the Obama administration’s drones policy, all of which may lower the traditional barriers to the use of force if other actors begin to follow contemporary American practice.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- International conflict