Greg Miller has an interesting and seemingly quite well-sourced article in the Washington Post today documenting (and offering explanations for) a significant decline in CIA drone strikes. To be clear, the claim is not that drone strikes on the whole are in decline.
Latest in Targeted Killing
CENTCOM has just released a summary of publicly-acknowledged airstrikes conducted against AQAP targets in Yemen over the first five months of 2016. The list includes three strikes from February and March that were not previously acknowledged, interestingly, and there is no guarantee that there are not others of that kind still awaiting public disclosure.
DOD has announced an airstrike on an al Shabaab official in Somalia:
The DOD airstrike that may have killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour is interesting, from a legal perspective, at many levels. From an international law perspective, as Marty Lederman explains here, it looks to be another example of action under color of the much-discussed unwilling/unable principle (unless of course there was consent from Pakistan and the denials in the public record are mere
Oversight of DOD Kill-Capture Missions Outside Theaters of Major Hostilities: What May Change Under the Next NDAA?
Despite the substantial overlap between counterterrorism activities undertaken by the CIA and JSOC, we tend to pay a lot more attention to the details of the congressional oversight framework for the former as compared to the latter. The NDAA often addresses CT oversight relating to DOD activities, however, and this year is no exception. What follows below is an attempt to provide a user-friendly guide to the proposals on the table.
I. Increasing the pace of quarterly operational briefings regarding CT:
The UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its report on the British Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing. The report is the result of attention on the legal and political justifications for a drone strike in Syria which killed two British citizens.
To assess the legality of U.S. targeting, it is crucial to know where the PPG does and does not apply. Yet to date, as commentators have noted, no clear definition has been given for the term that provides the key to this issue.
Run -- don't walk, run -- to your nearest movie theater and see Eye in the Sky. Its approach to law and war will be of interest to anyone who reads this blog. Plus, its a good movie (as it's 92% positive on Rotten Tomatoes will attest).
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...