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Drones and the Future of Armed ConflictEthical, Legal, and Strategic Implications$
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David Cortright, Rachel Fairhurst, and Kristen Wall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226258058

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226258195.001.0001

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Drone Strikes and the Law

Drone Strikes and the Law

From Bush-Era Detention to Obama-Era Targeted Killing

(p.74) Chapter Five Drone Strikes and the Law
Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict

Karen J. Greenberg

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the evolution of US counterterrorism and drone policy from the perspective of domestic law. Although the Obama administration made progress in affirming the rule of law in some areas—such as ending torture and assuring greater due process for detainees—questionable practices persist in targeted killing policies. Current policies stretch accepted legal parameters and widen the permissibility of using force. This is evident in the expanded definition of the enemy beyond al-Qaeda and the Taliban to include “associated forces.” It is also reflected in the administration’s attempt to redefine the Just War principle of imminence in its 2013 ‘white paper,’ which makes the questionable claim that a threat is imminent even if there is no clear evidence of an immediate threat of attack.

Keywords:   domestic law, AUMF, national security, associated forces, imminence, targeted killing

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