Targeted Killing

Capt. John Farmer, U.S. Army

Although targeted killings are hardly a novel military tactic, they have gained significant attention in recent years as the US government has increasingly employed the method in its overseas counterterrorism operations. Many critics have attacked the government’s targeted killing programs on grounds of excessive civilian casualties, an matter that remains sharply contested. The targeted killing programs also raise legal questions under both domestic law and international law, as well as thorny legal and moral issues regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and other autonomous systems in the carrying out of targeted killings.

Latest in Targeted Killing

counterterrorism

Document: Trump Revokes Obama Executive Order on Counterterrorism Strike Casualty Reporting

On Wednesday, President Trump issued an executive order revoking an Obama administration order that created reporting requirements for U.S. counterterrorism strikes. Read the full order below.

Executive Order on Revocation of Reporting Requirement

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

targeted killing

Judicial Review of Decisions to Kill American Citizens Under the AUMF: The Most Important Case You Missed Last Week

Should courts review the decision-making process when the U.S. government determines to target an American citizen as part of the armed conflict authorized by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force? Courts have refused to allow such cases in the past. On June 13, however, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave an emphatic yes to the question, in a ruling that deserves much more attention than it has received thus far.

Targeted Killing

Document: Judge Allows "Kill List" Lawsuit to Go Forward

Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today issued a ruling that will allow a lawsuit challenging aspects of the targeted killing program to go forward. Granting the government's motion to dismiss in part and denying it in part, Judge Collyer held that one of the two plaintiffs will be able to proceed with his claims that the alleged addition of his name to the "kill list" violated his rights. Notably, she found that the case did not present a nonjusticiable political question.

targeted killing

The French War on Terrorism: Targeting French Islamic State Fighters through Iraqi Forces

Over the years I have heard knowledgeable people comment (sometimes with admiration, sometimes otherwise) that the French approach to counterterrorism outside of France is not so different from the American approach, but that the French manage to avoid anything resembling the scrutiny and criticism that the United States receives.

I’m in no position to judge that. But let’s assume for a moment the comparison is true. Why relatively little scrutiny for the French if so?

Presidential Policy Guidance

"Areas of Active Hostilities" and Authority to Authorize Attacks Without White House Involvement

Yesterday U.S. News ran an article titled “‘Areas of Active Hostilities’: Trump’s Troubling Increases to Obama’s Wars.” As the title suggests, the thrust of the article is that there is something wrong with the Obama administration’s “areas of active hostilities” concept—or at least there’s something wrong with it now that it is in the hands of a different president.

Executive Power

Obama’s Term-End Thoughts on Targeted Killing

You could be forgiven if, amidst all the allegations of groping, the Clinton-Trump debates, and the ongoing implosion of the Republican Party, you missed an extensive interview by Jonathan Chait with our current president in New York magazine earlier this month. You could also be forgiven if you wouldn’t have predicted that among the “five days that shaped [Obama’s] presidency,” Chait includes in his piece September 30, 2011, the day that a U.S.

Subscribe to Lawfare

EmailRSSKindle