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Jul 15 · Last update 13 days ago.

Should drone strikes be legal?

Recently United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings, Agnes Callamard, has published a report questioning the legality of the US’ use of armed drones, focussing on the drone strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in January 2020. While the US has officially dismissed Callamard’s investigation, the issue of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone strikes have undermined Barack Obama’s legacy and have only escalated under the presidency of Donald Trump. But what rules do justify or govern these very 21st century weapons? Is there a need to rethink the national and international use of such weapons? Should drone strikes even be legal? aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/qa-agnes-callamard-drone-strike-killed-soleimani-200711080404877.html
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No

Drones do not minimise casualties but rather enable belligerents to take greater risks in targeting people and places they would normally be unable to reach or access. Drones are already being used in this way setting and setting a dangerous precedent, with UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, referring to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani in January 2020 “the first known incident in which a state invokes self-defense as justification for an attack against a government official outside a declared armed conflict" [1]. Furthermore this strike in particular may have already be illegal, with Philip Alston, another UN Special Rapporteur, stating that these US drone strikes “may well violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law." [2]

[2] go.gale.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE%7CA248904813 [1] inquirer.com/politics/nation/mike-pompeo-united-nations-report-drone-strike-iran-general-20200710.html

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Yes

Drone strikes have helped save lives and military resources, and therefore represent an advance in warfare, minimising the number of casualties overall. The United States’ use of drones has substantially reduced the number of American lives lost in the last couple of decades, which is the main reason we have seen in increase in their use. For these reasons US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has rejected Callamard’s report, stating that “the strike that killed Gen. Soleimani was in response to an escalating series of armed attacks in preceding months” [1], adding that the report only heightens the US’ distrust of UN human rights mechanisms.

go.gale.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE%7CA445750496 [1] inquirer.com/politics/nation/mike-pompeo-united-nations-report-drone-strike-iran-general-20200710.html

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