d will go down in history, along with the Spencer repeating rifle and jet power, as transformational and/or disruptive technologies for which there were no established laws that regulated their initial use. And, while it’s unfortunate that innocents are killed in any conflict, the same risks exist with conventional weapons; and under warfare that is more conventional.
Transnational terrorism offers a new challenge that must be met with new tools: drones are that tool and a reasonable proportional response to what are often small groups of bad actors. The idea of expecting local law enforcement, often in virtually lawless countries, to capture terrorist is also a non-starter. The Obama administration has published common sense guidelines that govern the use of force in other countries and I find them practical.
The United States has the right to target terrorists using drone attacks, even if incidental loss of life will occur among the non targetable civilians; as long as the principles of proportionality, distinction and reasonable necessity are adhered to. When using the principles of proportionality and reasonable necessity, the government should take into consideration all the appropriate features of the context. These considerations entails; identification of the terrorist targets, understanding the significance of the target, analyzing the appropriateness of alternative target methods for combating terrorism, studying the proximity to non targetable civilians, and identifying if the civilians are being used as human shield by the terrorists either voluntarily or through coercion.
Drone killings are lawful if they adhere to the laws of war and laws of self defense. This is because targeting the terrorists due to self defense is legal. Terrorist participate in ongoing armed attacks, therefore, they should be targeted by drone killings in whichever part of the world they operate in. Terrorists also participate in direct hostilities against the