Although there are important connections between individual jus ad bellum and jus in bello principles, each set of principles taken as a whole is conventionally assumed to be independent of the other. Consequently, ‘a state can be justified in its resort to war but violate the in bello conditions in how it fights, or initiate war unjustly but use only tactics that are morally allowed’.1 The first part of this chapter explores whether or how that strict separation is sustainable when armed drones are used in circumstances of radical asymmetry. In an uncontested airspace, and with drone operators in a remote location experiencing no physical risk, force can be applied with apparent impunity. This potentially poses ethical difficulties if it affects an enemy's ability to exercise an inherent right of self-defence, and if it constitutes the systemic transferral of risk from combatants to non-combatants. The second part of the chapter then assesses possibilities for surmounting these difficulties, including by abandoning the traditional notion that combatants on each side of a conflict are morally equal in terms of their licence to kill and their liability to be killed. The moral equality of combatants — a principle that fundamentally supports the distinction between jus ad bellum and jus in bello — makes it possible and desirable for a combatant to fight justly in a war that is or might be unjust. But if this principle were abandoned, it would need to be somehow established that US drone operators are morally superior because they (and not their enemies) are pursuing a just cause. As ‘just combatants’, US personnel would not be morally liable to be killed by their unjust opponents, so there would be no problem with the former experiencing no physical risk in the course of a radically asymmetric encounter.