Bin Laden and Awlaki: Lawful Targets
Harv. Int'l Rev. (Online Perspectives), 2011
4 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2013
Date Written: October 26, 2011
Many have challenged the legality of the 2011 United States’ operations that resulted in the deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki. Pakistan condemned the Bin Laden operation as a violation of international law; human rights advocates asserted that each man should have been captured instead of killed; and others claimed the operations were unlawful “assassinations” or, in the case of Awlaki, a violation of his constitutional rights as an American citizen. This article explains why these criticisms are all without merit and concludes that these military operations were legally justified under both international and domestic law.
Keywords: 9/11, Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, assassination, self-defense, drones, use of force, armed conflict, law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, law of war, continous combat function, constitutional law
JEL Classification: K10, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation