Targeted Killings: Recent US Attempts to Create a Legal Framework
39 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2013 Last revised: 5 Nov 2013
Date Written: February 1, 2013
The significant increase in targeted killings by the USA under President Obama has led to growing demands for greater transparency about the legal justification for this controversial use of force. In response several members of the administration have recently made speeches about the legal rules governing targeted killing. This article will consider these speeches and identify some of the key questions that they have left unanswered. These include the nature of the relationship between Al-Qaeda and its ‘associates’, and the links of the various terrorist groups, if any, to the terrorist attacks of 9/11; the categorization of lawful targets; the role of the CIA; the scope and meaning of ‘imminence’; and the establishment and significance of host state consent.
Keywords: targeted killing, self-defence, use of force
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation