What Rules Should Govern Drones and the “War” on Terrorism?

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, discusses how the increasing use of drones has become the most controversial aspect of the U.S. “war” on terrorism—more so than even the failure to close Guantanamo. Yet, within proper legal limits, drones can be potentially more effective than alternatives in striking terrorist targets while avoiding harm to people nearby. However, the Obama administration has scrupulously avoided recognizing what those legal limits are. Roth describes how this hesitancy reflects broader problems with the war paradigm as a guide to current efforts to address terrorism. This talk is part of Lectures on Public Policy, an annual series at the Institute that addresses issues of broad import relevant to contemporary politics, social conditions, and scientific matters.