Propriety of Self-Defense Targetings of Members of al Qaeda and Applicable Principles of Distinction and Proportionality

16 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2012  

Jordan J. Paust

University of Houston Law Center

Date Written: October 22, 2012

Abstract

This short article provides detailed disclosure why the United States cannot be at war with al Qaeda under international law. It also recognizes that, nonetheless, targetings of members of al Qaeda in the theatre of a real war with the Taliban is lawful and that such targetings are also lawful under the law of self-defense if members of al Qaeda are directly participating in ongoing attacks on the United States, its military, and/or other U.S. nationals.

In particular, permissibility of the targeting of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen as a direct participant in armed attacks (DPAA) is addressed.

Keywords: Afghanistan, al-Awlaki, al-Qaeda, armed conflict, customary international law, direct participant in armed attacks, DPAA, drones, Geneva Protocol, insurgency, law of war, Libya, necessity, proportionality, self-defense, theatre of war, war, Yemen

Suggested Citation

Paust, Jordan J., Propriety of Self-Defense Targetings of Members of al Qaeda and Applicable Principles of Distinction and Proportionality (October 22, 2012). ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2012; U of Houston Law Center No. 2012-A-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2165278

Jordan J. Paust (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

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