A Game of Drones: Comparing the U.S. Aerial Assassination Campaign in Yemen and Pakistan




Hoyt, Melanie Raeann

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To combat the terrorist threat the United States faces in Yemen and Pakistan, Remotely Piloted Vehicles have been employed to deter, deflect, and defend. These RPV’s operate thousands of miles from the closest military base in states that are not officially engaged in war. In these sovereign lands, cultures that have existed for thousands of years are torn between corrupt governments, terrorist insurgency cells, and sudden death from above. Reports on whether the aerial assassination campaign has impacted terrorist activity have been interpreted very differently among analysts. This thesis will explore how RPV’s have affected foreign policy, terrorism, and the security threats these places pose to the United States. Answers to these questions directly affect the future of international law, and how war will be waged in future combat.



drone, RPV, UAV, Yemen, Pakistan, AQAP, Taliban