Seneca H. Forch


Advisor: Dr. Matthew Bolton

Political Science, Peace and Justice Studies

Document Type



Just War Theory offers a three-tiered framework of criterion to determine whether or not conduct in various stages of war is rightly observed by state and non-state actors. These criterion are defined under Jus ad Bellum (pre-war), Jus in Bello (during war) and Jus Post Bellum (after the war). Various cultural and religious traditions have outlined its own views on just war theory, and have applied it to the use and development and of advanced war technologies. Using the Christian lens of Just War Theory, this paper seeks to find out whether or not it is a sin to use an armed drone. To answer the question, this paper analyzes the principles, ideas and doctrines that define Christian Just War Theory, pointing out key points and arguments as it applies to the use of armed drones. A case study follows the literature review, looking at the U.S. use of armed drones in the North Waziristan agency of Pakistan. It analyzes the methods in which they are used, as well as the overall impact it has had on the Waziri population. The analysis is put into conversation with the principles, ideas and doctrines that define Christian Just War Theory, determining whether or not are they observe its ideals. In the end, this paper finds the use of armed drones to be a sin on two charges: actual mode of operation, and methods of use by government operatives. The conclusion seeks additional conversation on the thesis question not just in the Christian community, but in other religious communities as well.