Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles-more commonly known as drones-to target individual terrorists has become an important tool for U.S. counterterrorism efforts abroad. However, to use force abroad the United States must meet the requirements of international law, particularly the international law of self-defense. The United States has claimed that it is in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda and its associated forces, which would have to be conducted under the law of armed conflict. This Comment looks at a specific aspect of targeting'the targeting of low-level members of terrorist organizations'under the international law of self-defense and the international law of armed conflict. This Comment argues that while the international law of armed conflict would allow the United States to target low-level terrorists in an armed conflict, outside an armed conflict, the United States can only target low-level terrorists who constitute an imminent threat to the United States under the international law of self-defense.
Targeted Killings in Yemen and Somalia: Can the United States Target Low-Level Terrorists?,
Emory Int'l L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.emory.edu/eilr/vol27/iss1/13