JOIN US

Revenge of the Drones

Roland Paris questions the legality of the Obama Administration’s development of drone aircraft.

By: /
14 September, 2011
2011_09_shadow-drone.width-640.jpg

In today’s Globe and Mail, I wrote about the Obama Administration’s increasing reliance on drones to assassinate suspected enemies of the U.S.:

The revolution in robotic warfare is about to go global. Many countries are trying to develop or acquire remote-controlled “drone” aircraft such as those the United States has used to kill hundreds of alleged militants in Pakistan. Before this proliferation occurs, liberal democracies should be working to clarify and strengthen international rules on the use of these weapons systems.

The U.S. seems to be taking the opposite course, extending its drone campaign to countries far removed from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan – including Yemen and Somalia – and using rules of engagement that are, at best, obscure and, at worst, illegal.

This is a dangerously short-sighted strategy. While execution by drone may appear to be a relatively low-cost and low-risk option for dealing with America’s enemies, it legitimizes methods that other countries may be expected to follow once they acquire similar capabilities.

If you’re interested in reading further, here’s the entire article.

Photo courtesy of Reuters.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter