The Ethical and Strategic Limitations of U.S. Drone Warfare

Author: Kristi Flaherty

Peace Policy March 2016

The Intercept’s release of leaked documents about the U.S. drone program and a controversial attempt to defend drone warfare by former CIA Director Michael Hayden have raised new questions about the ethical and strategic implications of using these weapons. The following essays examine the findings of the Intercept documents, question some of the ethical arguments that are made on behalf of drone warfare, and refute many of the claims in Hayden’s defense of U.S. policy.

New posts in the March 2016 issue of Peace Policy:

Cora Currier offers an inside look at The Intercept documents which expose the internal government practices for U.S. drone warfare. More »

Rashied Omar discusses the moral dilemma in finding a way to limit significant civilian harm and the response from communities of faith. More »

David Cortright debates the strategic value of using drones to achieve U.S. foreign policy objectives. More »

About Peace Policy

Peace Policy offers research-based insights, commentary, and solutions to the global challenge of violent conflict. Each issue features the writing of scholars and practitioners who investigate the causes of violent conflict and who seek to contribute to effective solutions and alternatives to the use of force.

Peace Policy is edited by David Cortright, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute,

Visit the latest issue of Peace Policy at