Taking a Hard Look from Above: Task Force Issues New Recommendations for U.S. Drone Policy

For a one-year period, a task force of three expert working groups (the “Task Force”) met under the roof of the Stimson Center to focus on different aspects of current Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) policy. The Task Force, composed of 10 senior-level military, intelligence, legal, and academic scholars, focused on three main aspects:

  • Defense utility, national security and economics;UAV
  • Ethics and Law; and
  • Export controls and regulatory challenges.

Strategic questions for the group were concerned with the “Obama administration’s heavy reliance on targeted killings as a pillar of US counterterrorism strategy” and the associated “blowback and risks of a slippery slope into continual conflict” if tactical strikes are not met with rigorous diplomacy.

In their summary report released this month, “Recommendations and Report of the Task Force on US Drone Policy,” The Task Force issued the following recommendations:

  1. Conduct a rigorous strategic review and cost-benefit analysis of the role of lethal UAV’s…
  2. Improve transparency in targeted UAV strikes…
  3. Transfer general responsibility for carrying out lethal UAV strikes from the CIA to the military…
  4. Develop more robust oversight and accountability mechanisms for targeted strikes outside of traditional battlefields…
  5. Foster the development of appropriate international norms for the use of lethal force outside traditional battlefields…
  6. Assess UAV-related technological developments and likely future trends, and develop an interagency research and development strategy…
  7. Review and reform UAV-related export control rules and FAA rules…
  8. The FAA should accelerate its efforts to meet the requirements of the 2012 FAA Reauthorization Bill to ensure the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system by Sept. 30, 2015…

For more resources on Unmanned Systems oversight and regulation, see the HSDL’s featured topic here.
 

 

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/taking-a-hard-look-from-above-task-force-raises-new-questions-on-u-s-drone-ethics