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Drones ands civilian protection under ihl
 

Drones ands civilian protection under ihl

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  • My research is about civilian protection in drone attacks under IHL ... I am interested in knowing whether the current IHL regime, largely designed in 1949 is adequate for civilian protection in this era of ‘killing at a click’. My research outline is as follows:
  • I will provide an intro
  • The grpah shows that drone usage around the globe has increased more than 5 fold between 2004 & 2010. This is because drones have several advantages Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles, are fast becoming the weapons of choice in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, and are projected to gain wide use in future military operations. Among other advantages, drones are highly effective at pinpointing targets; they are risk free and can hover over a target for a long time (Beard, 2009).
  • Going forward, experts forecast that the use of drones will continue to rise with US drone procurements comprising more than half of the world drone technology.
  • Although recent experience has shown that drones are capable of causing enormous unintended deaths of civilians who are not participating in hostilities, the current debate has not been informed by an examination of the psychological antecedents of ‘killing at a distance’ or ‘killing at a click’. Although drones have been in existence for more than half a century, previously their use was confined to reconnaissance. In the past 5 years, however drones have also been used as weapon carriers and combat planes. As the IVGC were developed before drones were used as combat planes, I wish to know whether the current rules of war are still relevent for this new kind of warfare. I am uncomfortable as most people are with the ‘Playstation’ manner of drone operations i.e. A person sitting in Florida in the US dropping a bomb on perceived targets thousands of km away. First of all, the drone operator is not in danger of being killed by his target[s] and his reliance on computer signals to make the crucial decision to kill. Therefore, I decided to bring in perspectives from behavioural psychology to understand what the implications of the distance between the target and the killer could have on civilian protection under IHL. The results of my study will inform the IHL reform agenda, if necessary. This paper adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to the use of drones, and attempts to address the question whether the current rules of war provide adequate protection to civilians in drone attacks
  • So what is the problem? First, we know that drones have a high civilian fatality rate Secondly we know that the drone operator is thousand of km away from the target and that the ‘Playstation’ nature of drone operations makes killing so easy especially for soldiers who have been dehumanised through training. Therefore in this essay I want to know whether the high civilian deaths could be associated with the high distance between the target and the killer
  • Philip Alston, the  UN Special Rapporteur issued a report outlining the use of CIA-remote control Predator drones to conduct assassination missions, stating that such use of the aerial drones causes soldiers piloting them to mentally detach them from the fact that when they “pull the trigger”, they are actually taking a human life and not just playing a video game. Therefore my research question is [read from slide]
  • What is my hypothesis? i.e what relationships, based on literature review, do I expect between the variables under study. .Distance and the remote controlled nature of drones are the 2 x-stics that define drone operations First, I know that the use if drones is a new phenomenon relative to the IVGC Secondly, I know that human beings naturally resist killing another human being Thirdly, literature shows that training and distance between target and killer play an important role in overcoming the resistence to kill Lastly, studies have shown that exposure to violent electronic games leads to acceptance of violence and desensitizing of death For these reasons, I expect that the high geographical and psychological distance that x-rizes drone operations leads to to lower civilian protection. Therefore I hypothesize that [read the slide] In this study, the unit of analysis [the type of actor whose attributes are being explored in the research study] is the drone operator and the target , while the geographical and psychological distance and adequacy of civilian protec tion are the two variables under study [the relationship btwn the variables is negative coz when one goes up another goes down]
  • A desk study involving the review of peer-reviewed journal articles, published books and resources from the internet on the subject of drone technology, killology and IHL, particularly the Geneva IV Conventions, is undertaken to assess whether high geographical and psychological distance associated with drone attacks negatively affects civilian protection. A desk study research is an accepted, time-honoured, cost effective and fundamental step in any academic investigation. Its purpose is to access published information and other available records pertinent to the subject(s) region under investigation. The results of a desk study help build a good understanding of the variables under investigation and inform actionable recommendations for IHL reform. -Specifically protect people who are not taking part in the hostilities (civilians, health workers and aid workers) and those who are no longer participating in the hostilities, such as wounded, sick and shipwrecked soldiers and prisoners of war
  • For Grossman, ―distance from the victim‖ includes various concepts of distance:  Physical distance between the killer and the victim ....?km or miles are the 2 apart from each other  Emotional distance between the killer and the victim, including: – Social distance, which considers the impact of a lifetime of viewing a particular class as less than human in a culturally stratified environment – Cultural distance, which includes racial and ethnic differences that permit the killer to ―dehumanize‖ the victim – Moral distance, which takes into consideration intense belief in moral superiority and ―vengeful‖ actions – Mechanical distance, which includes the sterile ―video game‖ unreality of killing through a TV screen, a thermal sight, a sniper sight, or some other kind of mechanical buffer.
  • The diagram summarizes Grossman’s findings on factors that can overcome the average individual‘s resistance to killing . According to Marshall - “the average and healthy individual…has such an inner and usually unrealized resistance towards killing a fellow man that he will not of his own volition take a life if it is possible to turn away from that responsibility” The demands of authority - people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative - even when acting against their own better judgment and desires Group absolution – akin to the concept of diffusion of responsibility, when the individual feels a powerful sense of accountability to his fellow soldiers on the battlefield. Distance from the victim – the physical, emotional and emotional distance between the killer and the victim. Physical distance between the killer and the victim – the larger the physical distance between the killer and the victim, the higher the likelihood that the killer will find it easier to kill - Therefore, short physical distance and face-to-face contact with the target make it less likely that the drone operator will choose to kill. Emotional distance between the killer and the victim - this includes social distance (the viewing of a particular class as less than human in a culturally stratified environment, and cultural distance (including racial and ethnic differences that permit the killer to dehumanize the victim). Eg The Nazi’s in Germany vs Jews, Hutus labelled Tutsis cockroaches Moral distance between the killer and the victim - intense belief in moral superiority and ―vengeful actions. Eg Nazi Germ..super race or The use of the term ‘infidels’ in Christianity and Islam [one without faith] Mechanical distance between the killer and the victim - the video game unreality of killing through a TV screen, a thermal sight, a sniper sight, or some other kind of mechanical buffer.
  • Scanning through literature, it is evident that the legal questions about the use of drones at International Humanitarian Law [IHL] are settled: the use of drones in armed conflict is legal, insofar as drones are no different from any other battlefield delivery system such as helicopters and aircraft carriers, except that they are remotely controlled The fourth Geneva Convention 1949 was adopted after the atrocities in the Second World War. It focuses on the protection of civilians under International Humanitarian Law. According to IHL, civilians must not be attacked. They do not take part in the hostilities and should be protected and respected. The principle of distinction prohibits all means and methods that can not make a distinction between those who do take part in hostilities, and are therefore considered combatants, and those who do not and are therefore protected (Article 48 IAP). The principle of distinction is part of international customary law and therefore binding to all. In the fight against terrorism the concept illegal combatants or unlawful combatants has been frequently used. It is not a term that can be found in the conventions. It has been used for persons who are members of unorganised armed groups taking part "illegally" in the hostilities, that is without being combatants Who is bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention? As of November 2009, 194 states signed & ratified the Convention. According to many scholars, the IVGC is today considered to be ICL, which all states should abide by regardless of their status as a state party to the convention.
  • Drone operations must be brought under the State’s regular armed services – IHL must oblige States to ensure that drone operations are carried out by military personnel that are subject to military rules and discipline, operate under a public system of accountability or oversight, are trained in the rules of war, have clear military chain of command and protocols for authorizing their use. The operation and command of drones for military purposes by non-military personnel or intelligence services should be prohibited in the interests of promoting transparency and accountability in the use of drone technology in NIAC and IAC. Training of drone operators in IHL must be mandatory – Drone operators must not only be trained on the technical operation of drones. The curriculum must also include training on the Geneva Conventions. Use of drones in NIAC should be subject to UNSC authorization – the last decade has seen an increase in non-international armed conflicts (NIAC), that is, between governmental forces and non-governmental armed groups, or between such groups only. IHL treaty law also establishes a distinction between NIAC in the meaning of common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and NIAC falling within the definition provided in Art. 1 of Additional Protocol II. In so far as one of the parties to a NIAC is not a regular army, ensuring civilian protection remains problematic. Therefore, in addition to the State that is acting in self-defence or using force for the good of the community seeking UN Security Council leave to wage a war, specific permission must also be granted for the use of weaponized drones, to ensure that the civilian protection and human rights principles considerations are prioritized in the war. Drone operations must be accompanied by on the ground intelligence - ground reconnaissance should be a mandatory precondition for a drone strike. Ground intelligence forces can empower and enhance the accuracy of drone operations by confirming conditions and the likelihood of minimal civilian casualties. Therefore, full automation of the decision to fire or hold drone fire should be outlawed in the interests of civilian protection.

Drones ands civilian protection under ihl Drones ands civilian protection under ihl Presentation Transcript

  • Drones and Civilian ProtectionDrones and Civilian Protection under Internationalunder International Humanitarian LawHumanitarian Law byby ELISAH MBIZAELISAH MBIZA
  • Research OutlineResearch Outline I. Introduction A. Definition of the problem B. Research question C. Hypotheses D. Methodology II. Results E. Fourth Geneva Convention [1949] F. Drones – legal and ethical issues III. Recommendations
  • IntroductionIntroduction  Drones are fast becoming weapons of choice in IAC and NIAC  Highly effective [precise], risk free spying and pinpointing targets  Smaller than jet aircraft  Less expensive, 30 times less  Do not put pilots at risk when they crash  Do not tire or get hungry  Can stay over target for a long time  Hit when the chance of success is high Source: The Economist. 08.10.2011
  • IntroductionIntroduction However:  Experience has shown that drones are capable of causing enormous unintended deaths and casualties to civilians not participating in hostilities Therefore:  This paper adopts a multi- disciplinary [behavioural psychology and IHL] approach to address the question whether current rules of war provide adequate protection to civilians in drone attacks
  • A. Problem DefinitionA. Problem Definition  Estimates of non-combatants killed in drone strikes vary from 10% to 98% of total fatalities (Mahadevan, 2010).  There is a risk that the usage of drones reduces war to entertainment or a ‘PlayStation mentality’  In this paper, we want to know whether distance between drone operator and the target can explain the high civilian deaths in drone attacks, and if so, put forward suggestions for IHL reform
  • B. Research QuestionB. Research Question  Because drone operators are based thousands of miles away from the battlefield, and undertake operations entirely through computer screens and remote audio-feed, there is a risk of developing a ‘PlayStation’ mentality to killing Does the geographical and psychological distance between the drone operator and the target affect civilian protection in drone attacks? .
  • C. HypothesesC. Hypotheses  The use of unmanned aerial vehicles in IAC and NIAC is a new phenomenon relative to the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949)  Killology theory posits that most humans, except sociopaths, deeply resist killing another human being [Grossman, 1995; Marshall, 1974]  Higher physical, emotional, moral and distance between the killer and the victim has also been found to overcome the resistance to killing.  Several studies have also found significant relationships between exposure to violent electronic games and the acceptance of norms condoning physical aggression Therefore, it is hypothesized that; Higher geographical and psychological distance between the drone operator and the target is negatively associated with civilian protection in drone attacks. Dependent variable Unit of analysis Independent variable
  • D. MethodologyD. Methodology Desk study I. Killology  The scholarly study of the destructive act, focuses on the reactions of healthy people in killing circumstances (such as police and military in combat) and the factors that enable and restrain killing in these situations, pioneered by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman II.Geneva Conventions  The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are at the core of IHL, the body of international law that regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects.
  • E. ResultsE. Results
  • ResultsResults Civilian protection under IHL  IHL obliges the parties to an armed conflict to distinguish, at all times, between the civilian population and combatants. It also provides that civilians may not be the object of deliberate attack.  Article 28 in the IVGC states: “the presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain areas immune from military operations”. This means that civilians cannot, with their presence, protect military installations, for example from military attack. They can not be used as human shields (article 28 IVGC).
  • ResultsResults  Numerous studies have confirmed significant relationships between exposure to violent electronic games and the acceptance of norms condoning physical aggression THUS the ‘PlayStation’ nature of drone operations and the enormous geographical and psychological distance between the drone operator and the target lowers the former’s threshold of resistance to killing
  • ResultsResults  IHL has created a normative standard of civilian protection that not only prohibits certain weapons and behaviours but also seeks to punish perpetrators of individual or mass crimes  HOWEVER  serious doubts exist about the extent to which drone attacks comply with the IHL core principles of distinction and humanity. Questions remain over the interpretation of ‘direct participation in hostilities’, especially in NIAC.  Therefore, it can be concluded that the current IHL do not provide adequate protection to civilians in drone attacks.
  • RecommendationsRecommendations  Drone operations must be brought under the State’s regular armed services  Training of drone operators in IHL must be mandatory  Use of drones in NIAC should be subject to UNSC authorization  Drone operations must be accompanied by on the ground intelligence