Drones and the European Union

The debate over the use of drones is an opportunity for states to identify elements of military practice that their publics find uncomfortable or troubling, and to explain these areas of military operations in context. Countries would benefit from working together to identify accountability gaps arising from fundamental elements of military cooperation, including the role of intelligence transfers in joint operations, and the distribution of responsibility for lethal actions in the context of coalition operations. Transparency in investigation procedures, as well as devoting sufficient resources towards ensuring that mistakes are identified, will improve the perception of drone use among domestic audiences. Identifying and communicating common standards and practices of mitigating complicity should be a priority for countries to ensure that they do not unwittingly become complicit in unlawful lethal operations.

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