Unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – have become a hot topic in the news. These cost-efficient combat machines are changing the nature of warfare and potentially the dynamics of international relations.
The CIA is using drones to carry out targeted killings in contravention of conventional interpretations of international law. This is setting a dangerous new precedent.
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) has investigated the possibility that the ready availability of drones makes recourse to military intervention more likely, their use for targeted killings, their implications under international law, and the ethics of increased automation in the use of the technology.
BUGB Council, as well as the central bodies of the Methodist Church and United Reformed Church has passed resolutions calling on the Government to state its position on the legality of the use of drones for targeted killings.
See the JPIT report: Drones – ethical dilemmas in the application of military force