BBC: Barack Obama defends ‘just war’ using drones

Drone ‘rules’

In an outline of the new policy released to the news media, the administration said it preferred to capture terrorist suspects, with drone strikes used only amid a “continuing, imminent threat” to the US.

Reports suggested that the military would assume greater control over the drone programme, which is currently led in most areas by the CIA.

However, it was also reported that the CIA would maintain control of the programme in Pakistan, where most strikes have been carried out.

Beyond that, the administration listed criteria for the approval of a drone strike:

  • "Near certainty" the target was present and that civilians would not be injured or killed
  • Capture would not be feasible
  • Authorities of the country in question could not or would not address the threat
  • No other reasonable alternatives were available
On Wednesday, the US disclosed that four Americans had been killed in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan since 2011, marking the first formal public acknowledgement of the US citizen deaths in drone strikes.

Read the full article and watch Obama’s speech here.

drones BBC obama guantanamo

theatlantic:

Imagining a Drone-Proof City

Kohn’s envisioned drone-proof community, which he calls “Shura City,” is a thought experiment, a provocation (shura, Arabic for consultation, is a word associated with group decision-making in the Islamic world). It’s a self-contained environment with elaborate architectural devices designed to thwart robotic predators overhead. Minarets, along with the wind-catching cooling towers called badgirs, would obstruct the flight path of the drones. A latticed roof, extending over the entire community, would create shade patterns to make visual target identification difficult. A fully climate-controlled environment would confuse heat-seeking detection systems. He has not included any anti-aircraft weapons in this scenario.
Read more. [Image: Asher J. Kohn]

theatlantic:

Imagining a Drone-Proof City

Kohn’s envisioned drone-proof community, which he calls “Shura City,” is a thought experiment, a provocation (shura, Arabic for consultation, is a word associated with group decision-making in the Islamic world). It’s a self-contained environment with elaborate architectural devices designed to thwart robotic predators overhead. Minarets, along with the wind-catching cooling towers called badgirs, would obstruct the flight path of the drones. A latticed roof, extending over the entire community, would create shade patterns to make visual target identification difficult. A fully climate-controlled environment would confuse heat-seeking detection systems. He has not included any anti-aircraft weapons in this scenario.

Read more. [Image: Asher J. Kohn]

drones

nationalpost:

U.S. has been operating secret drone base in Saudi Arabia for two yearsThe United States has been operating a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia for the past two years as a launch pad for attacks on terrorist targets in Yemen, it emerged Wednesday.The first pilotless CIA mission flown from the base killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born cleric and senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and a deputy in September 2011, reports said. (HO/AFP/Getty Images)

nationalpost:

U.S. has been operating secret drone base in Saudi Arabia for two years
The United States has been operating a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia for the past two years as a launch pad for attacks on terrorist targets in Yemen, it emerged Wednesday.

The first pilotless CIA mission flown from the base killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born cleric and senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and a deputy in September 2011, reports said. (HO/AFP/Getty Images)

drones Saudi Arabia