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Slovak Journal of Political Sciences

The Journal of University of Saint Cyril and Metodius in Trnava

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Extraordinary Measures: Drone Warfare, Securitization, and the “War on Terror”

Scott Nicholas Romaniuk
  • Scott Nicholas Romaniuk, School of International Studies, University of Trento
  • Email:
/ Stewart Tristan Webb
  • Stewart Tristan Webb, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University
  • Email:
Published Online: 2015-12-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sjps-2015-0012

Abstract

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles or “drones,” as part of the United States’ (US) targeted killing (TK) program dramatically increased after the War on Terror (WoT) was declared. With the ambiguous nature and parameters of the WoT, and stemming from the postulation of numerous low-level, niche-, and other securitizations producing a monolithic threat, US drone operations now constitute a vital stitch in the extensive fabric of US counterterrorism policy. This article employs the theories of securitization and macrosecuritization as discussed by Buzan (1991, 2006), and Buzan and Wæver (2009) to understand targeted killing, by means of weaponized drones, as an extraordinary measure according to the Copenhagen School’s interpretation. An overarching securitization and the use of the “security” label warrants the emergency action of targeted killing through the use of drones as an extraordinary measure. We argue that the WoT serves as a means of securitizing global terrorism as a threat significant enough to warrant the use of drone warfare as an extraordinary use of force. By accepting the WoT as a securitization process we can reasonably accept that the US’ response(s) against that threat are also securitized and therefore become extraordinary measures.

Používanie bezpilotných lietadiel alebo „Dronov“, ako súčasť amerického programu cieleného zabíjania (TK)“, sa dramaticky zvýšila vo vojne, ktorá bola vyhlásená proti teroru (War on Terror – WOT). V kontexte parametrov, povahe WOT, a vychádzajúc z rôznych postulátov a sekuritizácií, americké „drony“ predstavujú zásadný prvok v rozsiahlej štruktúre protiteroristickej politiky USA. Predkladaný článok využíva teórie sekuritizácie a makro-sekuritizácie, podľa Buzan (1991, 2006), a Buzan a Wæver (2009), ktoré tieto aktivity definujú ako cielené zabíjanie prostredníctvom ozbrojených dronov, v kontexte s výnimočným opatrením a to v súlade s výkladom kodanskej školy. Na druhej strane sa tieto „núdzové akcie“, ktoré sa vyznačujú cielením zabíjaním ospravedlňujú cez núdzové opatrenie a skrývania sa za tzv. „bezpečnostné záujmy“. V rámci tohto článku sa domnievame, že WOT slúži ako prostriedok sekuritizácie globálneho terorizmu, respektíve hrozbu ktorá dostatočne ospravedlňuje používanie „dronov“ ako mimoriadnej sily. V prípade, že budeme akceptovať WOT ako proces sekuritizácie, je možné pripustiť aj skutočnosť, že odpoveď (e) Spojených Štátov Amerických proti tomuto ohrozeniu budú sekuritizované a stanú sa mimoriadnymi opatreniami.

Keywords: Copenhagen School; existential threat; extraordinary measures; Security Theory (ST)

Kľúčové slová:: Kodanská škola; existenčná hrozba; mimoriadne opatrenia; bezpečnostné teórie

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About the article

Published Online: 2015-12-16

Published in Print: 2015-07-01



Citation Information: Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, ISSN (Online) 1335-9096, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sjps-2015-0012. Export Citation

© 2015 Scott Nicholas Romaniuk et al., published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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