Chapter

ARE TARGETED KILLINGS UNLAWFUL? A CASE STUDY IN EMPIRICAL CLAIMS WITHOUT EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE

Gregory S. McNeal

in Targeted Killings

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646470
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738975 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646470.003.0013
ARE TARGETED KILLINGS UNLAWFUL? A CASE STUDY IN EMPIRICAL CLAIMS WITHOUT EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE

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Critics of the U.S. policy of targeted killing by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) generally lack credible information to justify their critiques. In fact, in many instances their claims are easily refuted, calling into question the reliability of their criticism. This chapter highlights some of the most striking examples of inaccurate claims raised by critics of the U.S. policy of drone-based targeted killing. Specifically, it offers a much-needed corrective to clarify the public record or offer empirical nuance where targeted killing critics provide only unsubstantiated and conclusory statements of fact and law. The chapter is organized as follows. Section I discusses the decision protocol used by the U.S. military before launching a drone strike, a process that goes to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties. Section II addresses the critics' unsubstantiated claims about the legal, diplomatic, and strategic results of drone strikes.

Keywords: targeted killing; US policy; unmanned aerial vehicles; drone strike

Chapter.  10525 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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