The war on terror is remaking conventional warfare. The protracted battle against a non-state organization, the demise of the confinement of hostilities to an identifiable battlefield, the extensive involvement of civilian combatants, and the development of new and more precise military technologies have all conspired to require a rethinking of the law and morality of war. Just war theory, as traditionally articulated, seems ill-suited to justify many of the practices of the war on terror. The raid against Osama Bin Laden's Pakistani compound was the highest profile example of this strategy, but the issues raised by this technique cast a far broader net: every week the U.S. military and CIA launch remotely piloted drones to track suspected terrorists in hopes of launching a missile strike against them. In addition to the public condemnation that these attacks have generated in some countries, the legal and moral basis for the use of this technique is problematic. Is the U.S. government correct that nations attacked by terrorists have the right to respond in self-defense by targeting specific terrorists for summary killing? Is there a limit to who can legitimately be placed on the list? There is also widespread disagreement about whether suspected terrorists should be considered combatants subject to the risk of lawful killing under the laws of war or civilians protected by international humanitarian law. Complicating the moral and legal calculus is the fact that innocent bystanders are often killed or injured in these attacks. This book addresses these issues. Featuring chapters by an unrivalled set of experts, it discusses all aspects of targeted killing, making it unmissable reading for anyone interested in the implications of this practice.
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This is an objective, strategic assessment of the role, usefulness, and logistical concerns posed by state-sponsored targeted killing and its overall efficiency in the current war on global terrorism.
A comprehensive analysis into the lawfulness of state-sponsored targeted killings under international human rights and humanitarian law, this book examines treaties, custom and general principles of law to determine the normative paradigms which govern the intentional use of lethal force against selected individuals in law enforcement and the conduct of hostilities. Through an exhaustive analysis of recent state practice and jurisprudence, the book establishes when targeted killing may be considered lawful, and what legal restraints are imposed on the practice in times of war and peace.
This comprehensive volume addresses the important question of whether and how the current transformation of targeted killing is transforming the global international order. The age-old practice of targeted killing has undergone a profound transformation since the turn of the millennium. States resort to it more frequently, especially in the context of counter-terrorism operations. The rapid development of surveillance and drone technologies facilitates targeted-killing missions, and states are starting to slowly abandon their policies of secrecy and denial with regard to this form of violence. To answer this question, the volume introduces a theoretical framework that conceives the maintenance and transformation of international order as a dynamic, triangular process between violence, discourse, and the institutions that make up the international order. It then sheds light on different parts of this triangular process: the reinterpretation of international law to legitimize targeted killing, the contestation between state and non-state actors over the development of a new targeted-killing norm, the emergence of targeted killing in the context of changes in the broader normative context of international order, and the impact of new technologies, in particular autonomous weapons systems, on the future of targeted-killing practices and international order. This book was originally published as a special issue of Contemporary Security Policy.
The deployment of remotely piloted air platforms (RPAs) - or drones - has become a defining feature of contemporary counter-insurgency operations. Scholarly analysis and public debate has primarily focused on two issues: the legality of targeted killing and whether the practice is effective at disrupting insurgency networks, and the intensive media and activist scrutiny of the policy processes through which targeted killing decisions have been made. While contributing to these ongoing discussions, this book aims to determine how targeted killing has become possible in contemporary counter-insurgency operations undertaken by liberal regimes. Each chapter is oriented around a problematisation that has shaped the cultural politics of the targeted killing assemblage. Grayson argues that in order to understand how specific forms of violence become prevalent, it is important to determine how problematisations that enable them are shaped by a politico-cultural system in which culture operates in conjunction with technological, economic, governmental, and geostrategic elements. The book also demonstrates that the actors involved - what they may be attempting to achieve through the deployment of this form of violence, how they attempt to achieve it, and where they attempt to achieve it - are also shaped by culture. The book demonstrates how the current social relations prevalent in liberal societies contain the potential for targeted killing as a normal rather than extraordinary practice. It will be of great use for academic specialists and graduate students in international studies, geography, sociology, cultural studies and legal studies.
The book examines principal arguments for and against the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and 'targeted killing.' Addressing both sides of the argument with clear and cogent details, the book provides a thorough introduction to ongoing debate about the future of warfare and its ethical implications.
Drones have become an essential part of U.S. national security strategy, but most Americans know little about how they are used, and we receive conflicting reports about their outcomes. In Drones and the Ethics of Targeted Killing, ethicist Kenneth R. Himes provides not only an overview of the role of drones in national security but also an important exploration of the ethical implications of drone warfare—from the impact on terrorist organizations and civilians to how piloting drones shapes soldiers. Targeted killings have played a role in politics from ancient times through today, so the ethical challenges around how to protect against threats are not new. Himes leads readers through the ethics of targeted killings in history from ancient times to the contemporary Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then looks specifically at the new issues raised through the use of drones. This book is a powerful look at a pressing topic today.
Looking beyond the events of the second intifada and 9/11, this book reveals how targeted killing is intimately embedded in both Israeli and US statecraft, and in the problematic relationship between sovereign authority and lawful violence underpinning the modern state system. It details the legal and political issues raised in targeted killing as it has emerged in practice, including questions of domestic constitutional authority, the use of force in international law, the law of belligerent occupation, the law of targeting and human rights law. The distinctive nature of Israeli and US targeted killing is analysed in terms of the compulsion of legality characteristic of the liberal constitutional state, a compulsion that demands the ability to distinguish between legal 'targeted killing' and extra-legal 'political assassination'. The effect is a highly legalized framework for the extraterritorial killing of designated terrorists that may significantly affect the international law of force.
"In this "For & Against" book, Jeremy Waldron and Tamar Meisels defend competing positions on the legitimacy of targeted killing. The volume begins with a joint introduction, briefly setting out the terms of discussion, and presenting a short historical overview of the practice --i.e., what is targeted killing, and how has it been used in which conflicts and by whom. The debate opens with Meisels' defense of targeted killing as a legitimate and desirable defensive anti-terrorism strategy, in keeping with both just war theory and international law. Meisels unreservedly defends the named killing of irregular combatants, most notably terrorists, during armed conflict. Additionally, she offers a possible moral justification for rare instances of assassination outside that framework, specifically with reference to recent cases of nuclear scientists developing weapons of mass destruction for the Iranian and Syrian governments The debate continues with Waldron's arguments focusing on the dangers and the inherent wrongness of governments' having the right to maintain death lists-lists of named individuals who are to be hunted down and killed. Waldron notes the many differences between individualized targeting and ordinary combat and he resists the attempt to assimilate targeted killing to killings in combat. Waldron also cautions us to consider carefully what a world of targeted killings will be like, the many abuses it is liable to, and why we should be very cautious, morally and strategically, in our thinking about it"--