F.O.R Statement on Drone Warfare
As advocates for peace, the Fellowship of Reconciliation opposes the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, for military and surveillance purposes. The United States and its allies have increased the use of drones dramatically in the past decade which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians and violated the national sovereignty of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries throughout the world. FOR is also concerned about the potential use of drones for domestic surveillance of U.S. citizens.
We oppose the use of armed and spy drones for the following reasons:
Unmanned aerial vehicles are used to carry out extra-legal assassinations, a violation of international law. Targets of drone strikes are never charged, tried, or convicted in a court of law, and are given no opportunity to surrender, even if they are U.S. citizens. The murders of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and his 15-year-old son are cases in point.
Drone strikes kill thousands of innocent people, including children, violating the sanctity of human life. The Obama administration’s definition of “combatant” to include individuals of “combat age” covers over the true number of civilian deaths.
The United States has ignored repeated requests by sovereign nations, like Pakistan, to end the use of drone strikes.
The use of drones by the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command veils the program in secrecy and threatens our constitutional rights under the first amendment.
President Obama’s so-called “hit list” is an unconstitutional abuse of executive power.
Drone strikes perpetuate violence and destroy the potential for peaceful relationships between the United States and targeted countries.