2004
Volume 111, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

In this article we analyse whether armed drones influence the chance of success in the fight against terrorism. The reasonable chance of success principle is a just war theory principle, focusing on the likelihood of reaching the war objectives. Without a reasonable chance of winning the war, it is better not to start it. This principle will first be explained. Next, the focus lies on those elements that influence the chance of success in the fight against terrorism when armed drones are used. Success in the fight against terrorism might be a diminishing of the terrorist threat or the elimination of the terrorist organisation. The drone attacks in the fight against terrorism very often result in systematic collateral damage, which is detrimental to the objective, because it forms a breeding ground for terrorist organisations. One of the reasons for this collateral damage is systematic risk transfers, which will be explained in greater detail in the article. In the third part, the focus lies on other potentially positive elements that influence the chance of success, in order to compensate for the collateral damage. Unfortunately, there is no consensus in this research domain about the consequences for the terrorist organisation of killing a terrorist leader. Besides, research reveals that it is more productive to concentrate on political participation and on policing (law enforcement and arrest). The article calls not for a complete ban of armed drones; after all, collateral damage could already be limited if the risk transfers were to be limited. To limit these transfers, are needed, in order to intervene when human shields are used. Agents on the ground are needed to collect human intelligence in order to have reliable and complete intelligence and to investigate the intentions, to see who is prepared to negotiate and who to surrender. It would be an illusion to think that there is a reasonable chance of success in this fight with a party that takes zero physical risks.

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2019-03-01
2021-06-22
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