Rules of Engagement related to drone strikes

Iain Overton made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Defence

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ministry of Defence,

I am writing to you under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.

I would like to be informed, please, of the contents of any formal guidelines pertaining to rules of engagement of the enemy when operating armed drones.

Ideally, if there is a manual to operators or command guidelines for the MOD's process in engaging an enemy I would like that.

If this is not available for security reasons, I would like there to be, in the spirit of the Freedom of Information act, material presented that explains the legal and moral grounds of engagement with drones, including addressing scenarios such as the presence of civilians or unarmed combatants.

Other questions I would like answered are:

Can someone surrender to a drone? Has this scenario happened?

Does the MOD have information relating to drone attack deaths and is this information available? If so, could I have it?

Has the MOD worked with other government agencies to inform our military partners in the USA about known UK dissidents (or people who have held UK passports) that have resulted in their later being targeted by US drones?

Are there operational situations where UK operators of drones command a drone flight and then pass over to a US military official to strike? Or vice versa - where the US operator flies in and the UK official takes the strike? In other words are there 'hot seating' of UK/US drone strikes?

If there is time and money available left in this FOI request, can I ask for a comprehensive drone spending breakdown, please, for each financial year that the MOD has been operating drone warfare or armed attacks.

Many thanks for your kind consideration into this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Iain Overton

Air-DRes Sec-ParliBusiness (MULTIUSER),

1 Attachment

Please find attached a response to your recent FOI request.


Elaine Kerr

Air-DRes Sec 3

Air Cmd, Spitfire Block, Room 2E21-33

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