Drone Warfare

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President Obama laid out his strategy for defeating ISIS this week. And it included talk of airstrikes. In November, one of those strikes killed the ISIS spokesman known as Jihadi John, a British man who beheaded American captives on camera. That airstrike was actually carried out by an unmanned drone. Drones are increasingly the tool of choice for many countries involved in armed conflict, and countries looking to spy on one another. But there is no single set of international rules that govern the use of drones by nations. How has the lack of rules affected things on the ground?

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MQ-9 Reaper, a hunter-killer surveillance UAV
Photo: US Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson/USAF Photographic Archives