Drones: A Projection of Force Abroad

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James Holevas


After the events that took place on September 11th, 2001, the United States military drastically increased their use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This type of projection of force abroad has not come without scrutiny. Both the legality and effectiveness of use have come under question. This study sets out to understand whether the use of drones by the United States is an effective way to fight terrorism abroad. In order to measure success, the study looks at the legality of strikes with regards to how the United States frames their use of drones. The study also looks at the foreign policy goals of the United States usage of drones, specifically through the lenses of liberal-interventionism, in order to determine whether the usage of drones is effective in combating terrorism abroad. The study will focus on drone usage against al Qaeda and the Taliban, primarily in the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Subsequently, the United States drone usage is a useful instrument because of the way it eliminates key targets and facilities of US enemies abroad.

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