A New Framing for Advocacy to End America’s Drone Killings

On June 30, a coalition of 100 NGOs delivered a concise letter to the office of President Joseph Biden demanding “an end to the unlawful program of lethal strikes outside any recognized battlefield, including through the use of drones.” The letter arrived at an important political and symbolic juncture, just as the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, initially scheduled to coincide with the 20th anniversary of 9/11, was nearing completion. The attacks of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan that followed kicked off the massive expansion of America’s military footprint abroad, from which the drone program emerged and grew. While it remains to be seen whether the letter will have any impact on the Biden administration’s policy, the fact that it was written and the arguments it expresses represent important new developments in advocacy for an end to what has been euphemistically called America’s “targeted…

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