The United States gained unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) warfare capability in the early 2000s, using surveillance and strike drones extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen in Washington’s global “war on terror.” Drone strikes have shot up exponentially under successive presidents.
A total of 113 peace organisations and rights groups have penned a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to put an immediate end the illegal use of drones in other countries.
The letter suggests that Biden’s review of US drone policy, which was announced in the spring and included a temporary curtailment of UAV attacks, combined with the upcoming 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, is an excellent “opportunity to abandon” Washington’s “war-based approach and chart a new path forward that promotes and respects our collective human security.”
At the moment, the letter notes, the president’s unilateral power to authorise “secretive extrajudicial killing outside any recognised battlefield” remains unchecked, and there’s “no meaningful accountability for wrongful deaths and civilian lives lost and injured.”
Characterising drone strikes as the “cornerstone”of a violent US foreign policy which has “led to wars and other violent conflicts; hundreds of thousands dead, including significant civilian casualties; massive human displacement; and indefinite military detention and torture,” the groups behind the appeal argue that it’s…