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The Predator. Bill Banks October 2003. Themes raised by the Predator strike in Yemen:. Purposes of drones in the war against terrorism Host government cooperation Collateral damage Locus of decision making authority; DOD/CIA relationship; decision processes Legal authority

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the predator

The Predator

Bill Banks

October 2003

themes raised by the predator strike in yemen
Themes raised by the Predator strike in Yemen:
  • Purposes of drones in the war against terrorism
  • Host government cooperation
  • Collateral damage
  • Locus of decision making authority; DOD/CIA relationship; decision processes
  • Legal authority
  • Other applications for UAVs
firsts for the af mq 1 predator
“Firsts” for the AF MQ-1 Predator:
  • First to transition from ACTD to active military duty
  • First UAV to fire offensive weapons against enemy combat forces
operations history
Operations History
  • Bosnia 1995
  • Operation Allied Force 1999, video feeds downloaded from the UAV to the command center at Aviano, Italy, then relayed to airborne forward air controllers, allowing the FACs to find targets otherwise difficult to locate
  • Operation Southern Watch (Iraq)
operations continued
Operations, continued
  • Successful destruction of Iraqi mobile radar units using Hellfire missiles; as many as three UAVs shot down by Iraq
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) Beyond aerial reconnaissance, to close air support and armed strike
  • In OEF, one component of chain that allowed targets to be struck within five minutes of their identification. Aircrews could obtain Predator feeds directly in the airplane
operations continued1
Operations, continued
  • War on terrorism, weapons replaced cameras on some UAVs. CIA Predators complete strikes in Afghanistan and Yemen. Testing of Stinger missiles for self-defense and JDAM.
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom, strikes against Iraqi anti-aircraft vehicle, decoy missions in Baghdad, oversee rescue of POW
  • Losses
uav roles and applications
UAV Roles and Applications
  • Traditionally used as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance/Target Acquisition (ISR/TA) assets
  • Recently broadened into new missions such as armed reconnaissance
  • Is the use of UAVs as attack planes a good policy option?
implications of the use of the predator as a weapon
Implications of the Use of the Predator as a Weapon:
  • The decision process and chain-of-command; inter-agency relations
  • Collateral damage
  • Costs and benefits of pilotless targeting
implications of the yemen strike
Implications of the Yemen Strike
  • For the government of Yemen
  • For the Horn of Africa and elsewhere in the region
  • For the war against terrorism
  • For U.S. targets
  • For U.S. policy on Israeli targeted killing
other uses for the predator
Other uses for the Predator?
  • Original design of the Hellfire was to provide heavy anti-armor capability for attack helicopters
  • In Bosnia and Kosovo
  • Special ops support elsewhere
  • Homeland security?
  • Medical re-supply?
  • Long-duration law enforcement surveillance?
dhs and uavs
DHS and UAVs
  • Coast Guard and Border Patrol plan deployment of UAVs to watch coastal waters, patrol borders, protect oil and gas pipelines.
  • Civilian vs. military use
  • Civil liberties concerns?
law enforcement roles
Law Enforcement Roles?
  • October 2002 D.C.-area snipers
  • Following trucks with hazardous cargo
  • Measure radiation in the atmosphere
questions for discussion
Questions for discussion:
  • What are appropriate roles and missions for drones in the war against terrorism?
  • How should issues of host government cooperation affect the use of drones?
  • By what agency and through what process should decision making authority be exercised in deploying drones in combat roles? How should the DOD/CIA relationship be defined in this setting?
  • To what extent does legal authority limit the use of drones in combat?
  • What other applications for UAVs should be considered?
the september 11 th attacks
The September 11th Attacks

The statutory authorization for military force against those responsible for the September 11 attacks included this clause: “Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States.” What is the scope of that authority?

the september 11 th attacks1
The September 11th Attacks
  • S.J. Res. 23, Joint Resolution of Congress, September 14: “the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.”
scope of authority in the war against terrorism
Scope of Authority in the War against Terrorism
  • Does it include an attack on bin Laden and his network without prior congressional authorization?
  • Would it matter whether he was in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan?
  • Is it prudent to extend the battlefield against Al Qaeda and against international terrorism outside Afghanistan?
  • Do any of the above answers change if the Predator is the weapon of choice?
targeted killing of bin laden or saddam anticipatory self defense or assassination
Targeted Killing of bin Laden or Saddam: Anticipatory Self-Defense or Assassination?

Assassination generally is regarded as an act of murder for political reasons, usually through covert means.

  • Peacetime killing by a U.S. government agent is unlawful, unless undertaken in self-defense or defense of others, with or without an executive order proscribing it.
  • In wartime, the law of armed conflict applies. The military may kill the enemy, whether lawful combatants or unprivileged belligerents, including civilians who take part in hostilities.
u s army rules
U.S. Army rules
  • U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, paragraph 31 prohibits “assassination, proscription, or outlawry of an enemy, or putting a price upon an enemy’s head, as well as offering a reward for an enemy ‘dead or alive’. . . “
applying the wartime peacetime distinction to terrorism
Applying the Wartime/Peacetime Distinction to Terrorism
  • A sort of legal twilight zone, targeted killing vs. assassination
  • Solved for Saddam during the Gulf War by the 1991 Use of Force Against Iraq Resolution.
  • Solved for bin Laden by the September 2001 resolution (“all necessary and appropriate force”).
other pertinent authorities
Other Pertinent Authorities:
  • Commander in Chief’s defensive war powers, including anticipatory self-defense
  • For the CIA and contract agents: covert ops authority to perform “other functions and duties. . . “ National Security Act of 1947
executive order 12 333 1981
Executive Order 12,333 (1981)
  • § 2.11 “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”
  • What is forbidden? What is the legal effect of this provision?
International law (the UN Charter) and U.S. law recognize the inherent right of self-defense, including the unilateral action against an imminent threat.
  • Self-defense may permit targeting a terrorist leader where their actions pose a continuing threat to U.S. citizens or or the national security of the United States.
After September 11, President Bush called for the capture of bin Laden “dead or alive.” Could he legally order the killing of bin Laden?
  • H.R. 19, introduced by Rep. Barr: Section 2.11 of Exec. Order 12,333 “shall have no further force or effect.” Is such a law necessary to permit strikes at a terrorist leader?