JEAIL > Volume 8(2); 2015 > Student Contribution
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2015

"Leashing the Dogs of War": Towards a Modification of the Laws of Armed Conflict for the Regulation of the US Drone Strikes in Pakistan

Arindrajit Basu
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India
CF 170A, Salt Lake, Kolkata, West Bengal 700064 INDIA
Arthad Kurlekar
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, India
Adhunaiv 55 Prashant Society Paud Road, Pune 411038 INDIA
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transnational terrorism in the twenty-first century is a unique threat that has sparked equally unique responses from nations at the receiving end of it, particularly the US. Some of these responses, however, have ignored both provisions of international law and the political realities prevailing in regions of Pakistan where the Drone strikes have been conducted. This poses various policy problems as the US has continuously used legal lacunae in international humanitarian law to carry on its "war on terror." This paper addresses the problem by proposing a new form of armed conflict known as "transnational armed conflict," which accounts for the unique nature of a conflict between a State and a non-State actor operating from the territory of another State. It allows for the setting of appropriate impact and assessment thresholds that could effectively bring such countermeasures in compliance with the accepted principles of international humanitarian law.

Keywords : Drones, International Humanitarian Law, Law of Armed Conflict, Transnational Armed Conflict, US Foreign Policy, Pakistan

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