Time to Call-Off the Drones

Dr. Ian Davis, director of NATO Watch 

As millions of people celebrated the International Day of Peace on 21 September, the US military (or possibly the Central Intelligence Agency) marked the occasion with two further drone strikes in South Waziristan (Pakistan), killing a handful of alleged militants. These were the 70th and 71st such reported strikes this year. Four more were reported in North Waziristan in the last three days, making September the heaviest single month of drone strikes since 2004. A conservative estimate by US think-tank, New America Foundation, suggests that US drone attacks in Pakistan have killed one civilian for every two combatants, but no official figures are available. 

Two recent conferences in Europe highlight the growing concerns among civil society about the military use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as drones. NATO Watch shares these concerns and is calling for a global moratorium on the deployment of armed drones and for urgent international discussions to develop an arms control regime to regulate the use, development and transfer of these weapon systems. Read more in the attached pdf - as well as one of the keynote presentations from the London conference.

Addendum: See the statement of the 2010 Expert Workshop on Limiting Armed Tele-Operated and Autonomous Systems, Berlin, 22 September