Technology & Trade

Ethics and Law

in Program

The Stimson Task Force on U.S. Drones Policy issued its report and recommendations in June 2014. The task force was supported by three expert working groups focused on different aspects of U.S. drones policy: ethics and law; export controls and regulatory challenges; and military utility, national security, and economics. The three working groups met periodically and provided detailed background, invaluable insights, and context to task force members, including key data points, topics for consideration, and potential recommendations. Each working group has produced a background report with its own recommendations, conclusions, and issues for further research.

The Ethics and Law Working Group was tasked with identifying legal and ethical concerns surrounding the use of drones and to recommend key elements of doctrine, policy, and procedure that will best protect U.S. national security while upholding U.S. foreign policy and human rights objectives. The working group considered issues related to the sovereignty of other states in which the U.S. government conducts drone strikes; the international laws of war governing those strikes; international human rights law; and ethical considerations that underpin the use of these remote weapons.

Read the report here.

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