Faith Response to Drone Warfare
In 2013 the Disciples General Assembly passed a Resolution Condemning Drone Warfare, which highlights some of the major issues that faith communities, as well as many human rights and international law advocates, have with militarized drones.
- The use of lethal drones to implement U.S. military and intelligence strategies to eliminate perceived threats has increased dramatically, including outside of war zones.
- Drones are frequently used for targeted killing of individuals, including some U.S. citizens, without due legal process, and often of unnamed individuals who simply fit a profile that makes them a potential threat.
- Drones have a high rate of collateral damage, killing high numbers of civilians, including children, in an effort to eliminate targeted individuals.
- The non-stop deployment of drones in some populated areas, even for reconnaissance or fly-overs, has a traumatic impact on civilians who fear the unpredictability of a missile assault.
- Many questions have been raised about the ethical and psychological impacts on drone operators, many of whom are geographically and mentally far removed from the violence they effect, which can contribute among other things to a condition that has been called “moral injury.”
The Princeton Conference
The Peace Action Education Fund of CFPA facilitated an Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare at Princeton Theological Seminary from January 23-25, 2015. The conference established an important set of faith principles and policy recommendations against Drone Warfare.
The Civilian Impact of Drone Strikes: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions (2012), Columbia Law School & Center for Civilians in Conflict
Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan (2012), Stanford law School & NYU Law School
Moral Injury in the Context of War, U.S. Dept. of VA, National Center for PTSD
Out of sight, Out of Mind, Visual Interactive of Drone Strikes