Policy Forum

Drones and the New Way of War

April 22, 2013 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EDT

Yeager Conference Center

Featuring Steve I. Vladeck, Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Scholarship, American University Washington College of Law; Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow and Research Director in Public Law, The Brookings Institution; Rosa Brooks, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; and Benjamin H. Friedman, Research Fellow, Defense and Homeland Security Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Malou Innocent, Foreign Policy Analyst, Cato Institute.

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On February 4, 2013, NBC News obtained a confidential Justice Department white paper detailing the Obama administration’s legal justification for the targeted killing of American citizens abroad. The leak called attention to a discernible shift in the “War on Terror” and how America wages it. The U.S. government has yet to disclose the number of drone strikes launched, the number of people killed, and the full scope of collateral damage. How does the U.S. government determine who is a legitimate target and who poses an immediate threat? What are the constitutional issues surrounding targeted killings, given their secrecy and the lack of reliable data? What standards do decisionmakers apply for deciding if the costs outweigh the benefits in a given country? What are the practical issues of such highly classified programs in an age of worldwide, and seemingly perpetual, war? Join us for what should be a fascinating discussion on a highly important topic.