Attack of the Drones

University essay from Lunds universitet/Mänskliga rättigheter; Lunds universitet/Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap

Abstract: This thesis uses a Just war theory framework to do an argument analysis of the Obama administrations official legal justification of targeted killings and the use of drones as lawful state practise. The conduct of targeted killings using drones has increased since Barack Obama became president and has become a tool that is argued to effectively diminish the strength of AL-Qaida and other alleged terrorist organisation. But the increased use has called for demands on a public justification from the administration since the conduct of targeted killings using drones against non-state actors is surrounded by legal uncertainties. After presenting the legal issues with targeted killings, the American state practise on targeted killings and the increasing use of drones from the Obama administration I go on to the analysis. The analysis shows that a selected sample of the international legal scholar community both supports and opposes the American view. Also some uncertainties are found, such as “DPH” and “membership” in an armed organisation as a legal base for targeting. This might call for a furthermore elaborated justification. The thesis also discusses some of the moral and ethical issues regarding a battlefield where the line between man and machine gets evermore thin.

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