One of the most debated arguments against the US led war against terrorism is the use of unmanned drones for carrying out attacks against terrorists and militants in countries like Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
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The common belief is that these attacks must be stopped at once as the severity of collateral damages is beyond acceptable level and these attacks are in clear violation of the international laws and infringement of the sovereignty of other countries.
The US led war against axes of evil or in other words against those regimes and countries, which according to the US, are harboring Al-Qaeda and other forms of terrorist networks has continued over the last 11 years. The US forces in their pursuit against the claimed terrorists and militant groups use unmanned drone to launch their attacks.
The US government claims drones to be effective way of carrying out operations against such groups. Despite of the criticism and questions raised both on the local and international forums against the validity of the use of drones to perform attacks on other countries’ soil, the US has continued its drone adventurism and the US Congress continues to support these actions.
The use of drones is argued on two basic fronts – one is related to the violation of human rights and second is related to the violation of international laws. Drones are not without civilian casualties and many have been injured severely for life.
Their use is in no way supportive of the cause of fight against terrorism; instead it is giving birth to a new wave of terrorist and militants who view these attacks to be against their people and religious ideologies.
The Obama administration, which is in the office for the second time, has failed to pull out the US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and at the same time, it has shown reluctance to put a stop to drone attacks despite of the repeated protest by the governments of respective targeted countries. The legality of these drone attacks is quite weak and without doubt these some of these drone attacks can be considered as war crimes.
The United Nations (UN) has finally decided to set up investigation units to determine the legality of drone attacks by the US . But, it is also argued that such step by the UN is taken at the time when drones have already taken thousands of innocent lives.
The use of drones is in clear violation of basic human rights and they are threat to the humanity. It is clear that till now there is little precedent for the use of drones by the US in so called counter terrorism attacks and till the time the UN is able to establish some standards for their use, the sovereignty of other countries remains conditional.
To conclude, it will not be wrong to say that if these drones continue then there will definitely be other countries which would like to get hands on this technology and use it against others. Without any consensus on the legality of drones and monitoring of their targets it is impossible to argue in support of the standing of the international sovereign and humanity laws, which presently appear to be of no value to the US and its allies.
Bowcott, Owen. UN to investigate civilian deaths from US drone strikes. 2012. Web
Huff Post. Pakistan: Drone Strikes Are Violations Of Sovereignty. 2012. Web.
Pearson, Dan and Kathy Kelly. The Rotten Fruits of War: U.S. Drone Attacks over Pakistan. 2009. Web.
RT.com. US drone strikes ‘could be war crimes’ and set risky precedent – UN. 2012. Web.
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The New York Times. Predator Drones and Unmmaner Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). 2012. Web.