Barack Obama, Drone attacks in Pakistan, Drones, International humanitarian law, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Killology, Laws of war, National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Pentagon, Targeted Killings, United Nations Security Council, Unmanned aerial vehicle, War, War on Terrorism, Warfare and Conflict
- 1. Drones and Civilian International Humanitarian Law
- 2. Research Outline Research Introduction A. Definition of the problem B. Research question C. Hypotheses D. Methodology II. Results E. Fourth Geneva Convention  F. Drones – legal and ethical issues III. Recommendations
- 3. Introduction: Drones are fast becoming weapons of choice in IAC and NIAC Highly effective [precise], risk free spying and pinpointing targets. Smaller than jet aircraft. Less expensive, 30 times less. Do not put pilots at risk when they crash. Do not tire or get hungry. Can stay over target for a long time. Hit when the chance of success is high Source: The Economist. 08.10.2011
- 4. Introduction However: Experience has shown that drones are capable of causing enormous unintended deaths and casualties to civilians not participating in hostilities Therefore: This paper adopts a multi- disciplinary [behavioral psychology and IHL] approach to address the question whether current rules of war provide adequate protection to civilians in drone attacks
- 5. A. Problem Definition Estimates of non-combatants killed in drone strikes vary from 10% to 98% of total fatalities (Mahadevan, 2010). There is a risk that the usage of drones reduces war to entertainment or a ‘PlayStation mentality’ In this paper, we want to know whether distance between drone operator and the target can explain the high civilian deaths in drone attacks, and if so, put forward suggestions for IHL reform
- 6. B. Research Question. Because drone operators are based thousands of miles away from the battlefield, and undertake operations entirely through computer screens and remote audio-feed, there is a risk of developing a ‘PlayStation’ mentality to killing Does the geographical and psychological distance between the drone operator and the target affect civilian protection in drone attacks? .
- 7. C. Hypotheses. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles in IAC and NIAC is a new phenomenon relative to the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) Killology theory posits that most humans, except sociopaths, deeply resist killing another human being [Grossman, 1995; Marshall, 1974] Higher physical, emotional, moral and distance between the killer and the victim has also been found to overcome the resistance to killing. Several studies have also found significant relationships between exposure to violent electronic games and the acceptance of norms condoning physical aggression Therefore, it is hypothesized that; Higher geographical and psychological distance between the drone operator and the target is negatively associated with civilian protection in drone attacks. Dependent variable Unit of analysis Independent variable
- 8. D. Methodology Killology The scholarly study of the destructive act, focuses on the reactions of healthy people in killing circumstances (such as police and military in combat) and the factors that enable and restrain killing in these situations, pioneered by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman II.Geneva Conventions. The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are at the core of IHL, the body of international law that regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects.
- 9. E. Results
- 10. Results Civilian protection under IHL obliges the parties to an armed conflict to distinguish, at all times, between the civilian population and combatants. It also provides that civilians may not be the object of deliberate attack. Article 28 in the IVGC states: “the presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain areas immune from military operations”. This means that civilians cannot, with their presence, protect military installations, for example from military attack. They can not be used as human shields (article 28 IVGC).
- 11. Results Numerous studies have confirmed significant relationships between exposure to violent electronic games and the acceptance of norms condoning physical aggression THUS the ‘PlayStation’ nature of drone operations and the enormous geographical and psychological distance between the drone operator and the target lowers the former’s threshold of resistance to killing
- 12. Results IHL has created a normative standard of civilian protection that not only prohibits certain weapons and behaviors but also seeks to punish perpetrators of individual or mass crimes. HOWEVER, serious doubts exist about the extent to which drone attacks comply with the IHL core principles of distinction and humanity. Questions remain over the interpretation of ‘direct participation in hostilities’, especially in National Iranian American Council (NIAC). Therefore, it can be concluded that the current IHL do not provide adequate protection to civilians in drone attacks.
- 13. Recommendations Drone operations must be brought under the State’s regular armed services. Training of drone operators in IHL must be mandatory. Use of drones in NIAC should be subject to UNSC authorization. Drone operations must be accompanied by on the ground intelligence
- ‘War crimes’ go unpunished in confusion (skynews.com.au)
- NA unanimously passes resolution against US drone strikes (dawn.com)
- The Obama administration may be guilty of war crimes | Jeffrey Bachman (theguardian.com)
- “Will I be Next?” US Drone Strikes in Pakistan (lisaleaks.com)