Europe Shows Resistance to US Drone Policiesby Tyler Cullis
February 28 2014 | http://www.lobelog.com/europe-
Earlier this week the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the US drone program and expressing its concern over the desire of some European states to build a program of their own. Here in the US few have paid attention. But if the resolution signals a more serious commitment on the part of Europe to publicly disclaim the legal and policy architecture of the US’s “targeted killing” program, then the White House’s legal footing, which is already on thin ice, could become untenable in the face of near-unanimous global opposition.
The resolution, which is non-binding as a matter of European law, “expresses…grave concern over the use of armed drones outside the international legal framework,” which goes against US pretensions of acting within the bounds of law in conducting its “targeted killing” program. In doing so the European Parliament rejects the novel legal doctrines that the US has used to support its activities in the “global war on terror,” arguing that traditional jus ad bellum and jus in bello rules do not need to be revised in light of the threat posed by transnational terror groups (as the US has long alleged). This is a striking challenge to the United States and its claims to compliance with international norms, and is a sharp reminder of the twin reports from UN Special Rapporteurs last year (whose work is cited in the resolution itself).