Latest in Targeted Killing: Drones

Foreign Policy Essay

Is the U.S. drone program in Yemen working?

Editor’s Note: The U.S. drone program – as Lawfare readers well know – raises contentious policy issues as well as criticisms of its legality and morality. Many of these policy issues come to the fore in Yemen, where chaos and civil war are sweeping the land. Jillian Schwedler, a professor at Hunter College and expert on Yemen, argues that the U.S. drone campaign in Yemen is backfiring, enraging locals and contributing to a range of U.S. policy failures there.

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Targeted Killing: Drones

A British Anwar al-Awlaki Scenario? UK Targets British ISIL Member, in Syria, on an Imminent/Continuous Threat Theory

BBC News has the details here. To be clear, the novelty here is not British involvement in the use of lethal force against an ISIL target, nor simply the fact that a British citizen (Reyaad Khan of Cardiff) was the target of the carefully-planned strike (which also killed another British ISIL member, Ruhul Amin, among others). The novelty, instead, was the location of the attack (Syria) and the resulting invocation of what looks very much like the US government's imminent/continuous-threat self-defense theory.

targeted killing

Storifying the Oversight System for JSOC Kill/Capture Ops

I'm not certain this adds value, but I've decided to give Storify a shot. My first shot at it uses the platform to pull together my posts on the ongoing development of the statutory regime for oversight of kill/capture ops conducted by the military outside of theaters of major ongoing hostilities, along with some accompanying commentary from others and links to news articles and the statute itself. Not particularly different from my regular post here at Lawfare a few hours ago, but a different packaging. My sense is this will be useful in some contexts much more than others.

Targeted Killings

Eliminating the Afghanistan Exception to the Oversight Regime for Military Kill/Capture Ops

A little-noticed provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 might expand Congressional oversight of kill/capture operations conducted by the U.S. military. The change arguably reflects the ongoing process whereby U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is coming to resemble our involvement in Yemen and Somalia (and we now might add Libya), and constitutes the latest development in the long-running process whereby we are evolving a legal architecture for kinetic operations in situations that are not obviously full-fledged combat operations.

AUMF: Scope and Reach

The Attack on Belmokhtar and the Scope of the AUMF

It appears that the United States conducted an airstrike in Libya yesterday, targeting and killing Mokhtar Belmokhtar--a notorious Algerian terrorist who was once a member of GIA and GSPC, continued as a key leader for GSPC after it affiliated with al Qaeda and became AQIM, and most recently broke with AQIM by going independent with

Targeted Killing: Drones

Lindsey Graham's Iowa Drone Strike Out

It's a crowded field for Republican presidential candidates, but Lindsey Graham knows how to differentiate himself from the pack: he loves drone strikes more than his competitors.

Speaking the other night at the Iowa Republican Lincoln Dinner, as the Washington Post reports,

Graham made clear he is positioning himself as the most hawkish candidate in the field.

Covert Action

Waiving the "Imminent Threat" Test for CIA Drone Strikes in Pakistan?

[Update: Ryan Goodman has an excellent post here noting that a January 2013 WaPo article anticipated that CIA would get a waiver for Pakistan ops, albeit not necessarily a waiver specific only to the imminent-threat-to-US-persons rule.]

Adam Entous has an important story in the Wall Street Journal tonight, one that I suspect will get a lot of attention Monday morning.

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