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Hunter TKilling introductory article

Hunter TKilling introductory article - Targeted Killing...

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1 Targeted Killing: Self-Defense, Preemption, and the War on Terrorism Thomas Byron Hunter, M.A., M.Litt. Killing a man is murder unless you do it to the sound of trumpets. —Voltaire Summary 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 internation- al implications. is the proven desire of some terrorist groups to conduct attacks involv- ing 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 the methods of investigation include a thorough review of the available literature: books, published and unpublished essays, interviews of
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Journal of Strategic Security 2 selected individuals (to include academics and retired members of mili- tary and police forces), and the author’s independent analysis. Introduction this paper examines the dynamic of “targeted killing” as it relates to the phenomenon of modern international terrorism and the individual state’s rights to self-defense. Due to the nature of modern international terrorism, particularly in its suicide form, and its emergence on the world stage primarily after the September 11, 2001 attacks, academic focus on this type of potential response—targeted killing—has been limited. consequently, this paper endeavors to contribute an essentially new and largely unexplored insight into targeted killing as it pertains to the state’s right to defend its citizens.
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