A modification within the paradigm of armed conflict has begun to manifest itself, due to no small part of the United States self-proclaimed war on terror; it is the use of military drones. In addition, this war is being conducted on a global scale, these drones provide a more nimble and swifter approach, however, can these devices be compliant under IHL? In addition, the case against drones includes violations of sovereignty, excess death of civilian along with destruction of civilian infra structures and extra-judicial killings. These are legitimate concerns and depend-ing on how these devices re used will determine how these concerns are dealt with
According to IHL as represented by the ICRC, a weapon is banned if it has the following: bullets that expand or flatten in the human body, poison and poisoned weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons; weapons that injure by fragments which, in the human body, escape detection by X-rays; incendiary weapons; blinding laser weapons; Explosive Remnants of War and Cluster Munitions. Not mentioned are nuclear ordinances, which would be covered under proportionality and indiscriminate use.
The International Committee of Red Cross contains a listing of the rules concerning IHL; here is a partial reading governing armed conflict
1. Everyone must be entitled to benefit from fundamental judicial guarantees. No one must be sentenced without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court. No one must be held responsible for an act he has not committed. No one must be subjected to physical or mental torture, corporal punishment or cruel or degrading treatment.
2. Parties to a conflict and members of their armed forces do not have an unlimited choice of methods and means of warfare. It is prohibited to employ weapons or methods of war-fare of a nature to cause unnecessary losses or excessive suffering.
3. Parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare civilian population and property. Adequate precautions shall be taken in this regard before launching an attack.
Based on the above conditions military drones are not illegal, but are they legal? The short an-swer is maybe. International scholars are debating the issue. Not to mention the Drone program as used by the United States is not without its problems
The law Of Armed Conflict exits to minimize civilian deaths and civilian infrastructure damage in time of international armed conflict, while at the same time not impeding the actual conduct of such conflict. It also sets forth guidelines on the type and manner of weapons that are used. For a drone or any other strike to be legal under IHL/LOAC the target needs of military nature and the strike needs to proportional to the objective. The smallest amount force that needs to fulfil that objective needs to be utilized. Does the US drone program violate the IHL/LOAC pertaining to civilians under those...