How do we live with drones during wartime—and then after it’s over? A look at the ethical and legal implications, and the realities of what advantages drones have given the U.S. in the battle against al-Qaeda:
“Once the pursuit of al-Qaeda is defined as ‘law enforcement,’ ground assaults may be the only acceptable tactic under international law. A criminal must be given the opportunity to surrender, and if he refuses, efforts must be made to arrest him. Mary Ellen O’Connell believes the Abbottabad raid was an example of how things should work.
“‘It came as close to what we are permitted to do under international law as you can get,’ she said. ‘John Brennan came out right after the killing and said the seals were under orders to attempt to capture bin Laden, and if he resisted or if their own lives were endangered, then they could use the force that was necessary. They did not use a drone. They did not drop a bomb. They did not fire a missile.’”