Advantage one is Drone Wars Constraints influence global drone practices – the impact is global war



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Drone courts key to send an international signal of accountability


Epstein, 11 [Michael, Michigan State University College of Law “Targeted Killing Court: Why The United States Needs To Adopt International Legal Standards For Targeted Killings And How To Do So In A Domestic Court”, SSRN]

VI PROPOSED NEW U.S. LEGAL MECHANISM The Obama Administration has not indicated that it will halt or alter its current policy of targeted killings of al-Qaeda terrorists and other dangerous militants abroad using drones. In order to properly comport with international law and mitigate both domestic and world-wide criticism of the current targeted killing policy, the U.S. could adopt the targeted killing standard announced in PCATI. Congress could enact, and President Obama could sign into law, a statute providing for rigorous judicial review of targeted killings as laid out in PCATI; a Targeted Killing Review Court (“TKR Court”). This would simultaneously comport with current IHL and IHR standards, provide limited but assured transparency to the international community that targeted killings are not “arbitrary extra-judicial executions,” and help to assure that U.S. forces acting abroad are being held accountable when they do carry out targeted killings. By incorporating the hybrid armed conflict and law enforcement standard of PCATI through this TKR Court, the Obama Administration could provide for meaningful judicial review under international law and ensure that military and intelligence agents are not acting with carte blanche approval to carry out targeted killings worldwide. While some scholars have proposed systems of public post-killing investigations of C.I.A. actions359

That bolsters legitimacy


Epstein, 11 [Michael, Michigan State University College of Law “Targeted Killing Court: Why The United States Needs To Adopt International Legal Standards For Targeted Killings And How To Do So In A Domestic Court”, SSRN]

Overall, I believe that the TKR Court provides for a rigid system of Article III judicial review; comports with standards of applicable domestic and international law; and provides a mechanism for both domestic and international accountability. VII. CONCLUSION One of the nicknames for U.S. drone strikes that have been adopted by tribesmen in Pakistan is “bangana” – the Pashto word for “thunderclap.”384 The civilians living in Pakistani tribal areas have every reason for equating Predator Drone strikes to thunder; the strikes come out of nowhere, and many of the tribesmen have no idea why they occur. Drone strikes in Pakistan alone have been estimated to have killed over 1,800 people; while these strikes are likely necessary and proportionate to the grave threat they pose, these attacks cannot continue without some measure of accountability. While military strikes resulting in civilian casualties in the past have been justified due to a lack of knowledge, drone technology has advanced to a point where the U.S. government can gather the exact numbers and identities of possible civilian casualties. When Betullah Mehsud was killed, the C.I.A. agents had been observing him for two hours, and were able to gather information about whose home he was staying at (his father-in-law’s); who was at the home with him (his wife, in-laws, and eight Taliban fighters); and his current state of health (he was receiving an intravenous drip to treat a kidney disease.) Such prior knowledge could surely have been properly scrutinized by a judge to determine whether or not a strike is proportionate or not within the two hours that that the Predator drone hung over Mehsud and observed him. In the context of all of the known facts and circumstances about Mehsud’s prior acts and threat to national security he likely posed, some sort of judicial review could help salvage our reputation abroad and at home.


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