Loftier Standards for the CIA’s Remote-Control Killing
Statement to House Subcommittee on National Security & Foreign Affairs
11 Pages Posted: 12 May 2010
International humanitarian law can be developed into specific regulations for the CIA’s targeted killing. Accordingly, the drone operator must be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the trigger is being pulled on a functional enemy combatant. In addition, she must conclude that the requirements of military necessity and proportionality have been met. Afterward, the CIA’s Inspector General must review each CIA drone strike, including the agency’s compliance with a checklist of standards and procedures.
A program that establishes a very high certainty for targeting as well as a hard-look after each strike will be fair and reasonable whether the people in the cross-hairs are Americans or citizens from other countries. In the language of IHL, these are feasible precautions for the remote-control weapons of the new century.
Keywords: CIA, targeted killing, drones, international humanitarian law, national security, House Subcommittee on National Security & Foreign Affairs, warfare, al Qaeda, Taliban
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