Targeted Killing: Drones

As the long war drags on, armed drones are increasingly the tool of choice for targeting and killing of individual terror suspects. Supporters argue that the comparatively precise targeting enabled by drones has saved the lives of both soldiers (who need not endanger themselves) and civilians (whose lives are spared by more tightly confined and targeted violence). Meanwhile, detractors criticize not only the legal rationale for targeted killings in general, but also the lack of transparency, limited institutional oversight and lower threshold costs that accompany the American drone program in particular. Especially since the killing of American citizen and extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in  2011, the use of armed drones for targeted killings has come under increased legal scrutiny under both international and domestic U.S. law.

Latest in Targeted Killing: Drones

Targeted Killing: Drones

US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Dismisses Suit Over US Drone Strike

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today handed down an opinion dismissing a suit filed by the family members of individuals reportedly killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2012, which the plaintiffs allege was conducted in violation of domestic and international law. Though the court dismissed the case as presenting a non-justiciable political question, Judge Janice Rogers Brown's concurrence presents a strong criticism of the existing oversight regime for targeted killing.

The opinion is available in full below.

Targeted Killing

Declassified "Procedures for Approving Direct Action" Against Terrorists

This document was released yesterday. I haven't read it yet, but it is entitled "Procedures for Approving Direct Action Against Terrorist Targets Located Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities" and appears to be a redacted version of the internal policy document that President Obama issued in connection with his May 23, 2013 speech on drone strikes.

targeted killing

Airstrikes Outside Areas of Active Hostilities: Attacks in Somalia and Questions About the Current Shape of the Policy

Just this morning, I was thinking that things have been rather quiet with respect to media coverage of U.S. operations against AQ and AQ affiliates in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.  Well...

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