Masters Thesis

The principles of discrimination and proportionality in asymmetrical warfare in Pakistan

The thesis explores one of Just War tradition’s prime tenets of protecting noncombatants. Here, current CIA drone program practices are reviewed to determine potential violations of the jus in bello principles of Discrimination and Proportionality. CIA “signature strike” targeting methodology is reviewed and its legitimacy questioned considering evidence of high civilian casualties (“collateral damage”). Historical indiscriminate warfare practices, the philosophical Doctrine of Double Effect, as well as the concept of extreme necessity in cases of total war are also examined to determine whether prohibitions against targeting non-combatants have been relaxed under US “War on Terror” strategy. US redefinition of international legal terminology to justify asymmetrical warfare in Pakistan via the clandestine CIA drone program is explored. The context of US transparency and credibility versus Pakistani historical bias assists in determining whether jus in bello principles have been violated through a final review of relevant case studies.