The Strategic Context of Lethal Drones: A framework for discussion

The Strategic Context of Lethal Drones: A framework for discussion

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MQ-9 Reaper DroneThis American Security Project report creates a framework for discussing America’s use of lethal drone strikes in a strategic context.

The U.S. government has used lethal drone strikes since the passage of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, but recently their use has expanded at an unprecedented rate – underscoring the importance of understanding drones as tools in a larger framework.

Yet, most of the discourse to date about the merits of drones has focused on moral, legal, and tactical considerations, rather than on strategy. Strategy is at the very heart of how effectively lethal drone strikes interact with America’s national security.

This paper presents a factual, apolitical discussion about drone programs and their role in US counterterrorism strategy.

You can download the report here, or read it below

Other relevant information:

Fact Sheet U.S.C. Title 10, Title 22, and Title 50

Drone Resources and Annotated Bibliography

The Strategic Effects of a Lethal Drones Policy


The Strategic Context of Lethal Drones


  1. [...] then of the issue of international legality? As Joshua Foust and Ashley Boyle argue in a new paper, The Strategic Context of Lethal Drones for the American Security Project, this, too, is more complex than some have assumed. The use of [...]

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