Drone Strikes

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Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad? Remotely-controlled aircraft, otherwise known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones can be equipped with bombs and missiles for attack missions. The original drone, the MQ-1 Predator and the upgraded MQ-9 Reaper are the two most commonly used unmanned aerial vehicles. They are cherished for their ability to fly thousands of feet over a target for long durations of time and relay high-resolution, live reconnaissance. In September of 2000, lobbying began to weaponize the MQ-1 (Predator) drone with air-to-ground missiles for use as a battlefield weapon. It was not until the attacks on Sep. 11, 2001, that the Bush administration was able to authorize the armed Predator program and begin the subsequent "War on Terror," which enabled the United States to begin the use of thousands of drones to kill suspected terrorists in Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles has created great controversy in recent years; this is in part because of the September 2011 authorized, targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki …show more content…
Under international humanitarian law, the targeted persons must be directly playing a part in hostilities with the United States. Furthermore, the targeted persons must also pose an imminent threat that only lethal force can prevent (“Living Under Drones”). Simply being assumed to have a connection with a "militant" organization or under the United States policy of "signature" drone strikes is not legally appropriate to make someone a acceptable target for killing. Moreover, the United Nations ' Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism, Human Rights Chief, and Special Rapporteur on summary, arbitrary, or extrajudicial executions have all labeled US drone strikes as a violation of sovereignty, and have pressed for investigations into the legality of the

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