Universal Jurisdiction & Targeted Killing
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The Warrior Legacy Institute has released it's latest paper "Universal Jurisdiction & Targeted Killing" which discusses our policy of killing known terrorists and the authorizations for this. One of our most successful tactics against al Qaeda has been the use of armed drone aircraft and if we are to continue this we need to make certain we are on firm legal ground. Congress passed an Authorization to Use Military Force against al Qaeda following 9/11 which gives legal standing within our own judicial system for these strikes.
There are trans-national organizations that believe they have jurisdiction over our operations, such as the International Criminal Court and we need to establish that our inherent right of self defense as a nation gives us the freedom to attack enemies who represent a terrorist threat wherever we may find them. Recently the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the legal justification of the drone strike program. This will not be the last challenge to this program.
We suggest a treaty that enshrines such a right similar to pacts that recognize piracy as a borderless crime. Failure to do so could leave our forces in danger of actions from organizations that claim a Universal Jurisdiction over what they consider war crimes.