Drones and Targeted Killings: Facing the Challenges of Unlimited Executive Power

22 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2015 Last revised: 24 Jun 2015

See all articles by Amos N. Guiora

Amos N. Guiora

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Jason Shelton

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Students

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Teaching morality is difficult; it is amorphous, with unclear “curriculum.” Nevertheless, it is essential that commanders — senior and junior, alike — actively engage in studying, training and implementing morality. Failure to do so directly, has powerful deleterious consequences from multiple perspectives, including operational counterterrorism, unit morale, public perception and the oft-referred to “hearts and minds” of the civilian population. The recognition that morality is essential to effective military decision making, has been increasingly recognized by commanders, however, that is not enough. The extraordinary importance of morality must be clearly articulated to non-military personnel, engaged in operational counterterrorism. After all, civilian agencies are actively engaged in targeting decisions and their implementation. Under no condition can their civilian status grant them a “deferment” from implementing principles of morality. To not enforce strict morality standards on all units and personnel, involved in operational counterterrorism, suggests that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, may well be a train headed toward the nation-state. Morality is that important; not teaching it is just that dangerous.

Suggested Citation

Guiora, Amos N. and Shelton, Jason, Drones and Targeted Killings: Facing the Challenges of Unlimited Executive Power (2015). University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No.121. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2620856 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2620856

Amos N. Guiora (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-581-4295 (Phone)
801-581-6897 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utah.edu/profiles/default.asp?PersonID=6581&name=Guiora,Amos..

Jason Shelton

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Students ( email )

332 South 1400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

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