The Paradox of Precision and the Weapons Review Regime
21 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2019 Last revised: 17 Jan 2020
Date Written: March 10, 2019
As aerial weapons become more accurate and precise, they paradoxically expose civilians to greater harm. They make the use of military force feasible where previously it had not been. While these weapons are subject to legal review to certify that they are capable of being deployed in a discriminate manner, weapons review practice in the US and UK lends cursory approval to weapons that are as likely to harm civilians as enemy combatants. This article argues that a robust contextualized review of weapon’s effects on civilians and combatants is both legally required and in states’ strategic security interests.
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