A Kroc Institute Symposium

In the fall of 2015, two significant events put U.S. policy on drones and overseas military operations in the spotlight: the release of a cache of leaked documents about the drone program by The Intercept (“The Drone Papers”), and a U.S. airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan that killed an estimated forty-two people. Both “The Drone Papers” and the Kunduz airstrike call into question the U.S. commitment to avoid civilian casualties and abide by ethical and international legal norms for the protection of civilians and aid organizations. Given these significant events, it is appropriate to discuss the moral and legal issues associated with U.S. targeted killing policy and military operations.

The first panel will focus on The Intercept documents and drone warfare, giving an overview of the current U.S. policy on drones and the impacts it has around the world. The second panel will focus on ethical and policy responses to U.S. drone policy and provide an opportunity for deeper discussion on the variety of responses people of faith can support.

Panel 1 features:

Cora Currier

Reporter, The Intercept

Jean Porter

John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, Department of Theology

David Cortright

Director of Policy Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Moderator: Mary Ellen O’Connell

Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law, Law School; Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution, Kroc Institute

Panel 2 features:

Cora Currier

Reporting Fellow, ProPublica

Craig Iffland

PhD student, Department of Theology

A. Rashied Omar

Research Scholar of Islamic Studies and Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Moderator: David Cortright

Director of Policy Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

This event is free and open to the public

About the panelists:

Cora Currier is on staff at The Intercept and a journalist with a focus on national security, foreign affairs, and human rights. As a reporting fellow at ProPublica, she covers national security and finance. Her work has been published in Stars and Stripes, The Nation, Colombia Journalism Review, Al Jazeera America, and many other outlets. Before joining ProPublica, she was on the editorial staff of The New Yorker.

Jean Porter is the John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at Notre Dame’s Department of Theology with a focus on Moral Theology and Christian Ethics. Her publications include Moral Action and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 1994), Ministers of the Law: A Natural Law Theory of Legal Authority (Eerdmans, 2010), and journal articles appearing in Journal of Moral Theology and Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.

David Cortright is Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International peace Studies at the University of Notre dame. He is co-editor of Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict (Chicago University Press, 2015) and author of Ending Obama’s War (Paradigm, 2011) and Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for a New Political Age (Paradigm, 2009).

Mary Ellen O’Connell is the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law and is Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at the Kroc Institute. She is author of What is War? An Investigation in the Wake of 9/11 (Martinus Nijhof/Brill, 2012) and The Power and Purpose of International Law: Insights from the Theory and Practice of Enforcement (Oxford, 2008).

Craig Iffland is a PhD student in the department of moral theology at Notre Dame. His research focuses on the applicability of international humanitarian law to contemporary armed conflict, with special attention to the analysis of these debates in light of the history of Catholic moral reflection on the use of lethal force during wartime.

A. Rashied Omar is the Research Scholar of Islamic Studies and Peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. His research and teaching focus on the roots of religious violence and the potential of religion for constructive social engagement and interreligious peacebuilding. He is author of Tolerance, Civil Society and Renaissance in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Claremont Main Road Mosque, 2000). In addition to being a university-based researcher and teacher, Omar serves as imam at the Claremont Main Road Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa, and as trustee of the Healing of Memories Institute in South Africa.

Co-sponsored by the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare, a project of the Princeton-based Peace Action Education Fund, in cooperation with the DC-based Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare.