Every year the United States kills hundreds of individuals outside of the judicial system without any regard to their citizenship or nationality through drone (unmanned aerial vehicle) strikes. The United States claims that these are “targeted killings” and that they ensure the well-being of our nation. Today, I will persuade you that these claims are generally false and often result in a poorer state of security by improperly using the term targeted killing, damaging the international image of the United States, and creating major legality issues behind the killings.
Defining Targeted Killing
It is important to understand how targeted killing is defined and used in the United States before it is applied to drone strikes. Individuals are commonly killed in the United States and their aggressors often do not face legal repercussions. Usually, this results from law enforcement officials protecting the public, or citizens exercising their right to self-defense. The law enforcement agency describes that lawful targeted killings are when one is attacked with a deadly weapon, a gun is being pointed at an individual, or if someone poses an immediate threat to the safety of officers or others (People v. Hardin). Following these guidelines the definition of targeted killing should apply internationally as well. Law enforcement justifies its lethal action by classifying it as: Use of deadly force against another when the circumstances generate a fear of immediate death or serious harm to the person or other individuals, and the use of deadly force appears necessary to resist the threat (Phillips). It is important to note that the United States government currently does not abide by this provision with their drone strikes. Having established their own set of rules, targeted killings consist of gathering a list of individuals who may seem to be a threat to national security and killing them when the opportunity presents itself; this is all done at the...
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