In modern times, the importance of aerial warfare has greatly increased and proportionally mass destruction has also increased-Discuse

In modern times, the importance of aerial warfare has greatly increased and proportionally mass destruction has also increased-Disuse


 refers to the attack of one party/country on the opposition party/country as an immediate measure of action from a relatively safer position with an intention of achieving the mission objective of the attack with lesser damage.

Various types of aerial war-machines like jets, stealth aircrafts, bombers, drones etc. are used in this regard. However, though the damage to the attacking party is rare or is to a much reduced extent, it is just the opposite for the party being attacked. Very often the weapons that are launched from these aerial war-machines are of “mass destruction” type which includes Nuclear, Bio-logical and Chemical weapons, also known as NBC in short. These weapons can kill hundreds of thousands of people indiscriminately within seconds causing a massive destruction and hence they are typed as mass destruction weapons.

In recent years, the use of aerial war-machines has been increased in warfare to a great extent. Two major forces work behind the engagement in an aerial warfare-

i. Increasing the possibility of achieving the objective of the attack

ii. Reducing the possibility of damage to the attacking party

USA is the most extensive user of such mass destruction weapons from the history of its birth. They used atomic bombers in the World War II to drop nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They also engaged in aerial warfare extensively in their so called anti terrorism activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. Recently, they expanded their activities in Pakistan and are using drones (unmanned attack aircraft) in this regard, killing thousands of innocent people besides the group they intended to eliminate. This is the direct violation of human rights.

Aerial warfare:

Now in modern days all most all of the country use fighter aircrafts and other machineries to keep their air space safe from other countries attack during war. This is called aerial warfare. Aerial war is the use of military aircrafts and other machineries in war. Basically fighter’s aircrafts and other machineries used in war to ensure public safety to protect them from any kind of attack from rival group.[1]

· Strategic air power:

Strategic air power use to destroy enemy’s resources. Which means it is bombing from the air to ground to destroy armed forces. Now days it has become a strategy for achieving absolute political result in war by destroying economic aptitude to wage war.[2]

· Tactical air operation:

Tactical air operation is the combination of air and ground attack to keep objective area free from any kind of enemies attack[3]. Tactical air operation detects movement from enemy forces in objective area and then destroys those forces. At the same time they keep attacking to destroy any kind of forces installed by enemy forces.

Different types of aerial warfare:

Air warfare:

Air warfare is the main component of aerial warfare. Now days it has become an important and the most attractive part of a war. In recent war every country wants to gain the advantage in war by taking position in the air with heavy equipped aircraft to keep fighting with enemy. Air power successfully used in world war one, actually world saw the birth of air warfare on that time.

On 31st May 1915 German Zeppelins bombed London for the first time

That attack caused 7 deaths and 35 injured. At the same time it caused half million pound damage for London and on that time it was attack on the war.

Laws about air warfare:

It is based on the draft rules for air warfare in ( article xxv) which is any kind of air bombardment for the purpose of threatening civilian people, destroying or damaging civilian properties not of military character or any kind of injuring non combatant is strictly prohibited.[4]

Air force pamphlet 110-31, international law- The conduct of armed conflict and air operations, instructs that applying international limits to air attack planners must take the following precautions:

· Before attacking anywhere should have to ensure that objectives of attack are neither civilians nor civilian object.

· Should have to take all anticipations about the method of attack, to minimize or to avoid accidental loss of civilian life, damage of civilian areas and any kind of injury to civilian.

· Stop one from deciding to launch any attack which may be expected to accidental loss of civilian life, damage of civilian areas and any kind of injury to civilian, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

Kite warfare:

Kite is another important way of aerial warfare, where a kite is sent to enemy’s area to collect information from there area. Kite also used to get picture from military camp.

For example: India 1959, “On the time regional battle between Hindu and Muslim kite plays an important role. For getting line across chasm near Poona a young shah named shivaji used kite. At night under the cover of darkness kite line was replaced by rope and all the followers of successfully came back from there”

Balloon warfare:

Balloon warfare is another kind of aerial warfare, which used heavily in world war two. Balloon use in war to droop bomb in selected area by the bombers to destroy enemies resources and their military camp.

For example: In World War 2 Japanese floated almost 9000 balloon against united state. Those balloons were used to destroy forest and explosion in densely populated areas.

Law for balloon warfare:

The Contracting Powers agree to prohibit, for a term of five years, the launching of projectiles and explosives from balloons, or by other new methods of similar nature. The present Declaration is only binding on the Contracting Powers in case of war between two or more of them

The Hague convention is the pioneer for world war laws. This convention was held at The Hague in Netherland. Here internationals country alliance for international peace in international peace conference. First Hague conference was held in 1899 and then second conference was held in 1907.

Importance of aerial warfare now days:

Now a day’s importance of aerial warfare is increasing everyday. Now the question is why its importance is increasing? The most common answer is every country want to keep them safe and they want to protest any kind of aerial attack from other countries. At the same time countries conduct aerial attack on those which is threatening that particular country. Aerial warfare is conducted by the air force military of a country. Aerial warfare is not only for attacking opposition but also rescuing civilian from hostile situation.

Example: Recent conflict between Mali Islamists group and France because Mali Islamists group kidnapped many foreigners from BP natural gas field Algeria. Then France sent their air force military to rescue them by the use of equipped air fighters. Because conducting aerial attack is more accurate to detect criminals.

As of Jan. 16 the unconfirmed Order of Battle of the French forces in Mali was made of:

· 4x Rafale, 2x C-135FR, 1x A310, 1x C130, 3x C-160 Transal, 3x Mirage 2000D, 1x CN235 at N’Djamena, Chad.

· 2x Mirage F1CR, 8x Gazelle, 3x Mirage 2000D,

· 2x Harfang drones at Niamey, Niger.

· Some Atlantique II MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft)

United States drone attack in Pakistan:

United States is fighting against Al-Qaeda and Taliban since 2004 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this long period of time they used different types of tactics to destroy Al-Qaeda and Taliban, but the most attractive and most dangerous weapon they are using which is drone attack. Which is also called unmanned aerial vehicle.[5] Drone is one kind of aircraft which is operated by remote controller from the ground or it is computerize air attack.

UN charter and legality of drone attacks:

To justify drone attack it is all about self defense, which means as a country US cannot strikes drone unless until they attacked by any country. Here the most interesting thing is US is not attacked by Pakistan. Which means any kind of drone attack in Pakistan by US is totally illegal. On the other hand we can say it is the violation of Pakistan sovereignty.

Article 2(4) on UN charter clearly says that “all the members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”

Article 51 gives right to states to go for self-defense but accordingly, the use of force in self-defense is permitted only (i) in case of necessity, where there is an attack and the use of force is necessary to repel it and is defensive in nature; and (ii) to the extent that the defensive use of force is proportionate to the attack and not punitive in nature

Casualties in Pakistan by drone attack

According to the bureau of investigative journalism:-

Year Number of attacks Number killed
2004 1 8
2005 3 13
2006 2 102
2007 4 77
2008 36 344
2009 54 721
2010 122 1028
2011 72 599
2012 48 349
2013 8 58
total 1967 3299

Here total people killed approximately 3299 in number. In which total civilian and children killed approximately 900 and 180. Where total reported injured is 1500. It is a huge loss for a country and for a family as well. Some criticizers said that these people killed by US attack and US should have to pay for it.

Mr. wajid shamsul hasan high commissioner to UK said that, “US drone strikes undermine Pakistan democracy”

The Hague convention

The Hague convention is the pioneer for world war laws. This convention was held at The Hague in Netherland. Here internationals country alliance for international peace in international peace conference. First Hague conference was held in 1899 and then second conference was held in 1907.

International humanitarian law

International humanitarian law is based on the protection of civilian. It is searching for the rules humanitarian reasons and limit effects of armed conflicts. Humanitarian law is a part of international law. This law is guiding relationship among two states. At the same time it maintains balance between civilian concern and military requirement of a state. International humanitarian law provides solutions only for armed conflicts.

Article 51(3) of the 1977 first protocol additional to the 1949 Geneva Convention mentioned that “civilian shall not be targeted unless they are directly involved in the fighting”

Article 2 of the Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the protection of civilian in time of war by disregarding the human rights of the innocent civilian killed I the strikes.

International law of armed conflicts:

All the civilized nations want to prevent unexpected sufferings from war. Because of this reasons Law of armed conflicts raised. This law is based on the protection of civilian rights without hampering the effective waging of war. The aim of international law of armed conflicts is to protect prisoners of war, children, shipwrecked, the wounded and sick.

It says “This in fact makes all CIA operatives involved in drone attack in unlawful and a valid military targets just like Taliban”


Doubts over the lawfulness of the aerial warfare like drone strikes subvert the legitimacy of the countries efforts against militant aggressiveness raises risk to civilian. International community should have to create updated law according to use of different aerial weapons in war. Law should have to be created on the basis of protecting civilian and their properties and at the same time effective war against crime. State should have to teach all the rules to their armed forces and their civilian as well, which will help to achieve integrated result in war, without hampering a lot to civilian. By following international law all community should have to punish countries who want to violate or have violated any rules.


AFP 110-31, p. 5-9. These requirements restate almost verbatim the provisions in

Protocol I, Article 57

Dugdale-Pointon, T., (30 March 2007), A Brief History of Air Warfare, 27 April 1296,

derived from

Huges.R.G (strategic air power)

macgrae-hill-technology dictionary

The Hague

Thomas, B. in the complete world of kites derived from

Woods C (2012). Covert drone war.

yale law school


[1] .

[2] Huges.R.G (strategic air power)

[3] macgrae-hill-technology dictionary

[4] The Hague