The use of armed drones by the United States against Al-Qaeda and its ‘associates’: a study of law and policy arising from a ‘State of exception’

Mir, Sana (2019) The use of armed drones by the United States against Al-Qaeda and its ‘associates’: a study of law and policy arising from a ‘State of exception’. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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The use of armed drones in undeclared warzones pose various challenges to well established rules of international law. The US drone policies rest on shaky legal grounds, are ambiguous in nature and have been justified by reinterpretation of international law. The UK government’s use of drone strike in Syria shows a new problematic trend. The frequency of armed drones by few states outside area of active hostilities has normalised the use of force and generated a permanent state of exception. Mainstream research on targeted killings has focused on legality of US strikes in Pakistan but largely ignored the problematic role of Pakistan, in particular, the military violence of the Pakistani military in the tribal areas. The case study of Pakistan highlights that the drone strikes are directed against a population that is marginalised within the targeted state. The study argues that the special status of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has allowed the US to conduct drone strikes without any accountability. The US has been targeting groups with varying degree of closeness to Al-Qaeda in multiple territories based in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. The study established with the help of control test devised by the International Court of Justice in Nicaragua case that the associations between Al-Qaeda and these groups or organisations is very loose. Targeting groups who pose no threat to the US is both illegal and counterproductive. Therefore the extraterritorial targeting of terrorists who pose no threat to the US is a flawed strategy and must be reviewed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
Item ID: 26458
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2019 09:18
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2019 00:15

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