The ethics of targeted killing: Osama bin Laden, drones and counter-terrorism

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The term, "targeted killing" is currently most often used to refer to the killing of terrorists by members of the security agencies of liberal democratic states. The most spectacular example of this was the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. Other notable examples are the killing of members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas members by Israeli Mossad operatives and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). In Afghanistan and in the tribal areas of Pakistan (Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA'especially North Waziristan), the US military and the CIA have used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to kill large numbers of suspected terrorists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-340
Number of pages24
JournalPublic Affairs Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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