Bergen: ‘Time for Drone Treaty’

Influential counterterrorism reporter Peter Bergen today called for a treaty regulating the  production, trade and use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), often called drones, in an editorial for CNN, written with Jennifer Rowland:

“The time has come for some kind of international convention on the legal framework surrounding the uses of such weapons, which promise to shape the warfare of the future as much as tanks and bombers did during the 20th century.”

Documenting the chilling proliferation of military drones, Bergen and Rowland argue that “As drone technology becomes more widely accessible, it is only a matter of time before well-financed drug cartels acquire them. And you can imagine a day in the not too distant future where armed drones are used to settle personal vendettas.”

They also raise concerns about the covert US drone strikes, such as those in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, saying that:

“Without an international framework governing the use of drone attacks, the United States is setting a dangerous precedent for other nations with its aggressive and secretive drone programs in Pakistan and Yemen, which are aimed at suspected members of al Qaeda and their allies.”

Their editorial comes just days after reports from three influential law schools — Columbia, NYU and Stanford — raised serious reservations about the civilian impact of drone strikes. (For an earlier blog posting on the humanitarian impact of drones, click here).

 

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 1 October 2012.

4 Responses to “Bergen: ‘Time for Drone Treaty’”

  1. […] framework to govern robotic weapons. Just yesterday, influential counter-terrorism correspondent Peter Bergen called for a treaty to manage and mitigate drone proliferation. Earlier this year, along with Thomas Nash and Richard Moyes of the advocacy group Article 36, I […]

  2. […] framework to govern robotic weapons. Just yesterday, influential counter-terrorism correspondent Peter Bergen called for a treaty to manage and mitigate drone proliferation. Earlier this year, along with Thomas Nash and Richard Moyes of the advocacy group Article 36, I […]

  3. […] is the latest in a series of high profile people who have called for greater debate about a normative framework to govern robotic weapons, from the […]

  4. […] is the latest in a series of high profile people who have called for greater debate about a normative framework to govern robotic weapons, from the […]

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