Norwegian military intelligence agency ((E-tjenesten)) confirmed that information they share with the United States, can be used in controversial drone attacks, writes Aftenposten.
– We contribute to a NATO-led operation in Afghanistan and shares intelligence with participating states in ISAF-operation. Intelligence data obtained by the Norwegian units may therefore be part of an overall information base for operations carried out within the framework of the law of war and applicable rules of engagement. Such operations may include the use of drones or other legal weapons platforms, says Lieutenant General and chief of the Intelligence Service Kjell Grandhagen to Aftenposten.
Grandhagen also notes that disclosed information can be used only for intelligence purposes and can not be used by the recipient for any other purposes unless they have previously agreed.
Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide emphasizes that drones are legitimate weapon platforms.
– Like other weapons, drones should be used only within the framework of the law of war and the adopted rules of engagement. One should ensure that it has enough information about the target to avoid loss of civilian life, whether you are using drones or other weapons. I assume that both the United States and our other ISAF partners adhere to it, says defense minister.
Debate on Drones
There is a debate regarding the number of civilian and militant casualties due to drone attacks in the region. An estimated 286 to 890 civilians have been killed, including 168 to 197 children only in Pakistan. Amnesty International found that some strikes could amount to war crimes.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has repeatedly demanded an end to the strikes, stating: “The use of drones is not only a continual violation of our territorial integrity but also detrimental to our resolve and efforts at eliminating terrorism from our country”. The Peshawar High Court has ruled that the attacks are illegal, inhumane, violate the UN charter on human rights and constitute a war crime. The Obama administration disagrees, stating that the attacks do not violate international law, and that the method of attack is precise and effective.