Drone Defense: The Inherent Right of Self-Defense and U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan
25 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2012
Date Written: June 6, 2011
This paper examines the ongoing U.S. drone campaign against militant groups in Pakistan in the context of the inherent right of self-defense and customary international law. The paper provides some brief background information on drones and their technical capabilities and outlines the history of the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan. The paper examines the parameters of self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter as well as customary international law and evaluates drone strikes in Pakistan in this context.
To the extent that the U.S. drone campaign clashes with current International Court of Justice interpretations of the law of self-defense, this paper distinguishes the conflict in Pakistan and posits that the restrictive requirements of state attribution and consent are untenable in light of the new realities presented in a 21st century asymmetrical war against non-state militant and terrorist groups.
Keywords: drones, Pakistan, terrorism, Article 51, self defense
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