Drones

Missing Reaper

If you have found the missing Reaper drones please contact enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk


Unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – have become a hot topic in the news. These cost-efficient combat machines are changing the nature of warfare and potentially the dynamics of international relations.

The CIA is using drones to carry out targeted killings in contravention of conventional interpretations of international law. This is setting a dangerous new precedent.

We have investigated the possibility that the ready availability of drones makes recourse to military intervention more likely, their use for targeted killings, their implications under international law, and the ethics of increased automation in the use of the technology.

The central bodies of the Methodist Church and United Reformed Church have passed resolutions calling on the Government to state its position on the legality of the use of drones for targeted killings.


Key Resource

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Drones: Ethical Dilemmas in the Application of Military Force

In 2012/13, the central bodies of our three Churches received the report ‘Drones: Ethical Dilemmas in the Application of Military Force‘.

See also our Churches’ Submission of Evidence to UK Defence Committee (.pdf version here)  published 25 March 2014.


More…

  • Download the Public Issues Calendar for 2016

    The Public Issues Calendar dates are available for download. Click the link below to access the important dates to put in your diary for this year. Calendar dates 2016

  • The killing of Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin

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  • Worrying about drones

    Missing – Six Reaper drones last seen in Afghanistan.  If found please contact us via www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/drones   The UK has used 10 armed drones to carry out surveillance and bombing in Afghanistan.  Four are believed to have been redeployed to Iraq and Syria but the location of the other six is a mystery.  Apparently they are ...

  • What next for the UK’s armed drones?

    The UK has announced its withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of the year but an important question remains. What is going to happen to the RAF’s fleet of 10 Reaper drones? The only way they could come back to Blighty is in a box, as they are unable to fly in British airspace due to ...

  • Drones – ethical dilemmas in the application of military force

    What are the military, psychological and ethical issues associated with the increasing deployment of unmanned drones? Armed Unmanned Air Systems – Present and Future It has been suggested that the forth-coming Joint Strike Fighter will be the last manned jet fighter as in the future all UK air power could be delivered by unmanned aircraft. Armed Unmanned ...

  • David Cameron: End the secrecy surrounding the use of British drones!

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  • Churches challenge Foreign Secretary on U.S drone strikes

    05 October 2012 The Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union of Great Britain have called on the Foreign Secretary to distance the UK Government from the United States Government’s practice of using missiles to target individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism. Church leaders have expressed their anxiety over the humanitarian and legal implications ...

  • Churches welcome drones inquiry

    The Joint Public Issues Team of the Methodist Church, The United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union of Great Britain has voiced support for a parliamentary inquiry into the use of drones. According to a report in the Times today, members of the Commons Defence Select Committee are to investigate the deployment of armed unmanned ...

  • The Morality of Drone Attacks – Moral Maze Radio 4

    Last night’s Moral Maze on the morality of drones is worth listening to but it should come with a health warning. The cut and thrust nature of the debate that makes the programme so entertaining can cause key arguments to be neglected or too easily dismissed.  Three of the ‘witnesses’ on the programme are people that ...

  • Living under drones – and UK drones march

    A startling report has been released by Stanford University. It provides a comprehensive assessment on the impact of US drone strikes in northwestern Pakistan. Research teams spent time in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in February/March 2012 and in May 2012. Two aspects of this report stand out for me. Firstly the detailed account of ...

  • UK Drones and Targeted Killing

    The targeting of suspected members of terrorist groups with missiles by the United States has been rightly condemned. In the past week the point was made at Methodist Conference and at URC General Assembly that, although terrorists operate outside of the law, it is vital that Governments do not do likewise. (Both forums debated the ...

  • Drones and targeted killings – churches’ report released

    The front page of the Times runs the story on the case brought by Reprieve on behalf of Noor Khan whose father was one of 40 people killed by a strike believed to have been carried out by a US unmanned drone. Noor Khan and Reprieve seek a judicial review that will require the Foreign Secretary ...

  • Good News on Cluster Munitions – US proposed protocol defeated

    Last week campaign groups, humanitarian agencies and independently-minded governments have achieved another step forward towards the elimination of cluster munitions. Two weeks ago Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church wrote to the Foreign Secretary on behalf of the Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed Church to oppose the proposal by the United States for ...

  • Drone Wars

    BBC Radio 4 – Sunday 25 September – 1:30pm (and Methodist Conference) Pilotless drones armed with missiles and bombs are the next big thing in war-fighting. This 30 minute programme on BBC Radio 4 explores the ethical dilemmas of these new weapon systems that give us the capacity to kill soldiers or militants with no risk ...

  • Osama Bin Laden killed

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