TITLE

Targeted Killing: Self-Defense, Preemption, and the War on Terrorism

AUTHOR(S)
Hunter, Thomas Byron
PUB. DATE
May 2009
SOURCE
Journal of Strategic Security;May2009, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This paper assesses the parameters and utility of "targeted killing" in combating terrorism and its role within the norm of state self-defense in the international community. The author's thesis is that, while targeted killing provides states with a method of combating terrorism, and while it is "effective" on a number of levels, it is inherently limited and not a panacea. The adoption and execution of such a program brings with it, among other potential pitfalls, political repercussions. Targeted killing is defined herein as the premeditated, preemptive, and intentional killing of an individual or individuals known or believed to represent a present and/or future threat to the safety and security of a state through affiliation with terrorist groups or individuals. The principal conclusions of this paper are that targeted killing: • Must be wholly differentiated from "assassination" and related operations involving the intentional targeting of an individual during wartime, in order to be considered properly and rationally. • Is a politically risky undertaking with potentially negative international implications. • Is the proven desire of some terrorist groups to conduct attacks involving mass casualties against innocent civilians that may, in the future, cause states to reconsider previous abstention from adopting targeted killing in order to protect their populace. • Can serve to impact terrorists and terrorist groups on a strategic, operational, and tactical level. • Has historically had both negative and (unintentionally) positive impacts for terrorist groups. • Oftentimes exposes civilians to unintentional harm. The methods of investigation include a thorough review of the available literature: books, published and unpublished essays, interviews of selected individuals (to include academics and retired members of military and police forces), and the author's independent analysis.
ACCESSION #
40623142

 

Related Articles

  • The uneasy relationship between national security and personal freedom: New Zealand and the �War on Terror�. Small, David // International Journal of Law in Context;Dec2011, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p467 

    As part of the �War on Terror� declared in response to the 11 September 2001 attacks, countries introduced legislation to bolster national security, often at the expense of personal freedoms and long-established legal principles. Like the Cold War, the �War on Terror� is cast...

  • Moving to new battlegrounds. Clarke, Peter // India Today;12/14/2009, p33 

    The author calls for new methods in global counterterrorism. He stresses the importance of transnational counter-terrorism to protect the public such as the prevention of the 2006 plot against Transatlantic airliners using liquid bombs. He suggests coordination and training of all involved...

  • PRE-CRIME AND COUNTER-TERRORISM Imagining Future Crime in the ' War on Terror '. McCulloch, Jude; Pickering, Sharon // British Journal of Criminology;Sep2009, Vol. 49 Issue 5, p628 

    This article looks at pre-crime in the context of counter-terrorism. Pre-crime links coercive state actions to suspicion without the need for charge, prosecution or conviction. It also includes measures that expand the remit of the criminal law to include activities or associations that are...

  • SIX MONTHS ON, THE FOG OF WAR. Alter, Jonathan // Newsweek;3/18/2002, Vol. 139 Issue 11, p20 

    Relates that six months after the start of the war on terrorism by the United States, the intensity of the war has eased. The lack of America's military success abroad bringing permanent change; Question of whether the term 'war' was appropriate for the semi-permanent, semi-secret fight...

  • Security Overview.  // Poland Defence & Security Report;Q3 2010, p33 

    The article presents an overview of the internal and external security conditions in Poland for the third quarter of 2010. It notes that Poland's location attracts international organized criminals while its risk of kidnapping and extortion is low. It states that Poland supports the U.S.-led war...

  • Middle East Overview.  // Patterns of Global Terrorism;2004, p58 

    The article provides information on the state of terrorism in 2003 in the Middle East. The Middle East has continued to be an area of greatest concern in the global war on terrorism where in major attacks occurred in Morroco, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The countries in the region are cooperating on...

  • The Role of TARGETED KILLING in the Campaign against Terror. Cullen, Peter M. // JFQ: Joint Force Quarterly;Winter2008, Issue 48, p22 

    The author examines the targeted killing, an indispensable tool for the war on terror by the U.S. He stresses that a circumscribed policy for targeted killings can be legal, moral, and effective, and suggests specific procedures to that effect. Finally, he concludes that the success of targeted...

  • Somali Conflict Highlights Need for U.S. African Command. Weitz, Richard // World Politics Review (19446284);11/ 3/2006, p2 

    The article reports on the need for the U.S. to develop and improved means for managing African security issues as the war in Somalia escalates as of November 2006. For many years, U.S. strategists have argued that the continent's vulnerability to transnational security problems warrants the...

  • Terrorism: A Need for Complex Response. ARBE, SAMUEL // Polish Quarterly of International Affairs;Winter2013, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p21 

    The article focuses on changes in strategies made by various nations to ensure global security environment and combat terrorism. It informs that the U.S. launched a war on terror and the terrorist attacks in the U.S. Spain and Great Britain have set a new global agenda. It also informs that the...

Share

Other Topics