Article

Israel's Policy of Targeted Killing

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Abstract

Since the beginning of the second intifada in the fall of 2000, Israel has pursued a policy in which alleged Palestinian terrorists have been hunted down and killed by government order. The policy is not one of assassination and is consistent with international law because Israel is engaged in armed conflict with terrorists, those targeted are usually killed by conventional military means, not through deception, and the targets of the attacks are not civilians but combatants or are part of a military chain of command. Targeted killing has also been affirmed by Israel's High Court. Although targeted killing has been pursued by Israel throughout its history, the scale of the present effort and the use of sophisticated military assets such as helicopter gunships and jet fighters set it apart from earlier practices. The effectiveness of the policy is called into doubt because it has not prevented–and may have contributed to–record numbers of Israeli civilians being killed. The policy has also resulted in informers being revealed, intelligence resources diverted, potential negotiating partners eliminated. It has also produced murderous retaliation and international condemnation of Israel. Benefits of the policy include impeding the effectiveness of terrorist operations, keeping terrorists on the run, and deterring some attacks. In addition, it affords the Israeli public a sense of revenge and retribution. Because it targets the actual perpetrators of terrorism, targeted killing provides a proportionate and discriminate response to the threat Israel faces. Improving the policy will require better civilian oversight, greater care to eliminate harm to innocent bystanders, and refraining from killing political leaders. Despite its many shortcomings, Israel is justified in pursuing this policy so long as it faces a terrorist threat that the Palestinian Authority will not or cannot control.

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... the targeted killing research, Hafez and Hatfield (2006) did not find it to be a factor in Palestinian violence. Nevertheless, other researchers have suggested it may operate through alternative mechanisms, like the increased recruitment of suicide bombers (David, 2003) or instead through complex insurgency-counterinsurgency relationships (Condra and Shapiro, 2012;Fielding and Shortland, 2010;Linke, Witmer, O'Loughlin, 2012). Informed by a rational choice framework, a methodologically robust evaluation of the U.S. policy on targeted killings was conducted in this research, with a focus on high-profile actors. ...
... The first set of such objections is legal and primarily focuses on the extrajudicial nature of the policy. David (2003) noted that, in accordance with Israeli law, so long as three criteria are met, the use of assassinations does violate international law. The issue then becomes whether such policies are in fact assassinations given they do not target political figures but instead terrorists. ...
... As Radsan and Murphy (2011) argued, certainty in target selection must involve an external review that is consistent with the standard of proof in criminal and civil court: "beyond a reasonable doubt" or "clear and convincing," respectively. Other scholars have maintained that no policy in a time of war is truly morally justified and that targeted killing, given its proportionate and discriminatory nature, is the lesser of evils (David, 2003). Finally, opponents have contended that targeted killings will have the aforementioned backlash effect that would supersede any disruption to organizational competence. ...
Article
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Research Summary: Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the ensuing "war on terrorism," the U.S. government has engaged in a series of controversial counterterrorism policies. Perhaps none is more so than the use of targeted killings aimed at eliminating the senior leadership of the global jihadist movement. Nevertheless, prior research has yet to establish that this type of tactic is effective, even among high-profile targets. Employing a robust methodology, I find that these types of killings primarily yielded negligible effects. Policy Implications: Given the immense controversy surrounding the policy of targeted killings, it has become that much more vital to assess whether such measures are effective. This study's findings, that most of these high-profile killings either had no influence or were associated with a backlash effect, have important implications for future counterterrorism efforts. All in all, the U.S. government's investment in the policy of targeted killings seems to be counterproductive if its main intention is a decrease in terrorism perpetrated by the global jihadist movement.
... The second notable factor to emerge from this scenario is the subsequent difficulty with which the PIJ attempted to replace Al-Shiqaqi. As noted by Eisenstadt (2001) and David (2003), "No competent successor emerged to replace Shikaki, producing disarray in Islamic Jihad" (p. 116). ...
... According to Israeli military officials, there are two reasons for the continued failures of the PIJ since the assassination of Al-Shiqaqi in 1995: (1) it is believed that the assassination and that continued assassinations of PIJ leaderships has simply resulted in a crippling depletion of the ranks "of the most experienced Paestinian planners, and (2) compelled PIJ to pursue and implement their operations in a rushed and careless fashion merely to "prove that they remain in the fight (Eisenstadt, 2001). David (2003), reinforces the sentiment, adding that, "targeted killings have impeded the effectiveness of Palestinian terrorist organizations where leadership, planning, and tactical skills are confined to a few key individuals" (p. 120). ...
... 120). Both Eisenstadt (2001) and David (2003) touch base with the charisma component of any given leader, stating that there are individual leaders with a certain level of charisma and organizational skills that simply cannot be match or easily replaced, and these can be quite essential in maintaining the cohesive quality of any group. ...
... Without being able to clearly see who the enemy is (by virtue of a flag on their shoulder or a combat dress that is clearly recognizable), it becomes necessary to identify them individually and compile a list of all known enemy combatants, and using this list, target them; hence, "targeted killing". 11 Targeted 5 See David (2003) for a refreshingly balanced and reflective examination of targeted killing, with all its potential dangers and advantages. 6 Hunter (2009), p. 7. 7 Hunter (2009), p. 3. 8 Hunter (2009 Art. ...
... 16 David (2003) also provides an insightful discussion of the distinction between assassination and targeted killing. 17 See, for example, David (2003), Hunter (2009); and the exchange between Gross (2004Gross ( , 2006and Statman (2004), to name just a few examples. ...
... This does not mean that assassination is necessarily justified, but it does mean that if war is justified, so is assassination, because it lowers the number of lives we expect will be lost. 47 See David (2003). ...
Preprint
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In international law and the ethics of war, there are a variety of actions which are seen as particularly problematic and presumed to be always or inherently wrong, or in need of some overwhelmingly strong justification to override the presumption against them. One of these actions is assassination, in particular, assassination of heads of state. In this essay I argue that the presumption against assassination is incorrect. In particular, I argue that if in a given scenario war is justified, then assassination of the enemy state's leader is also justified, and in fact ought to be pursued as a means short of war. I defend this position on both consequential and deontic grounds, arguing that assassination is both more discriminate than war and serves to harm only those most responsible for the situation which justifies war in the first place. I conclude by arguing that a norm of assassination, far from being a destabilizing force, as some have argued, would in fact serve to reinforce international norms of rights and respect for persons by making clear that tyrants and would-be oppressors cannot hide behind military forces or notions of sovereignty to protect themselves from judgment and retribution.
... Overall, the debate can be framed as a highly contested one with proponents emphasizing effective fighting against the threat of terrorism versus those that argue that such killings drive anti-Americanism and warn about long term negative consequences and 'boomerang effect' of this policy in the form of strained relations with other nations. Using Israel as an example, David (2003) has attempted to look at the effects that targeted killings have on Israeli state security. While he concedes that such missions have failed to stop all acts of terrorism, he still argues that there are 'strong arguments supporting the effectiveness of targeted killing', as the policy has prevented many more attacks against Israel (David, 2003: 119). ...
... War cleared the way for targeted killings, and as a Commander in Chief of the Iraqi armed forces, Hussein was now a legitimate target. Such legal position, that targeting of enemy combatants in wartime does not constitute 'assassination', has been supported over the years by a number of scholars upon close reading of the international law (Luban, 2012, Lotrionte, 2003, David, 2003, Alston, 2010. Even conscripted cook, Luban explains (2012: 40), becomes a legitimate target during a state of armed hostilities. ...
... In the second stage of period t, the government strategically chooses the number of hits to undertake with the goal of preempting planned attacks. Consistent with the IDF's criterion that hits can be used only to prevent future attacks (David 2003;Harel and Alon 2002;Izenberg 2006), we assume that in period t, the government targets only individuals who are integral in planning and organizing attacks planned for period t. Let x t denote the number of hits ordered by the government (referred to as the hit rate) in period t. ...
... Our multiperiod model was possible to analyze because of the one-period statedependence structure: government actions in period t depend only on terrorist decisions in that same period, whereas terrorist decision making in period t depends only on government actions in period t − 1. Having the government behave in such a fashion is consistent with the stated policies governing targeted killings in Israel (David 2003;Guiora 2004;Harel and Alon 2002;Katz 2006), though many would argue that past actions have played a role in some assassinations (e.g., the targeted killings of Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Ratissi, the founder and subsequent leader of Hamas). Similarly, though Israeli hits influenced downstream terrorist decision making in our model, the time lag is only one period; prior research suggests that the reach of targeted killings on downstream terror attacks could be much longer lasting (Kaplan et al 2005;Kaplan, Mintz, and Mishal 2006). ...
Article
This article develops sequential game models for key operational terrorist (how often to attack) and government (how often to execute targeted killings) decisions taken during a (counter-) terror campaign such as the second intifada. Key results include the following: The government initiates targeted killings when the marginal number of Israeli civilian lives saved from prevented terror attacks exceeds the marginal number of Palestinian civilian lives lost in such ``hits''; targeted killings are not employed if they are either ineffective or extremely effective at thwarting terror (since terrorists will not induce their use); even after accounting for downstream terror attacks motivated by prior targeted killings, a civilian casualty—minimizing government can optimally order targeted killings over time; and low-level cycles of violence can occur when the government is more patient than the terrorists, but higher, stable levels of violence result when the terrorists are the more patient players in the game.
... 6 This reflects the view of many Israeli counterterrorism officials who believe the best response to terrorism is to go on the counter-offensive and eliminate the terrorist threat before it can be launched. 7 The first wave of Palestinian terrorism took place in the 1970s with a series of airliner hijackings, numerous attacks on Israeli citizens abroad (including the 1972 Munich massacre), and a series of cross-border infiltrations from Lebanon targeting Israeli military assets. For intelligence collection reasons, Israel has traditionally preferred to arrest suspected terrorists so they may be interrogated and subsequently tried in courts. ...
Article
50 free e-copies available at https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/JRNEJZI3T8ZANFC9GGUX/full?target=10.1080/09592318.2020.1726574. This article offers a contextualized comparison of Israeli targeted killing operations aimed at Palestinian high value targets before and during the Second Intifada. Utilizing four indicators that can be directly attributed to a particular operation (elimination of the intended target, civilian and non-target casualties, directly-linked retaliatory attacks, and adverse political consequences), we analyzed thirty-eight Israeli targeted killing operations to determine whether the policy changes introduced during the Second Intifada (regarding the scale, legal basis, and targeting methods) resulted in increased operational success. Our findings indicate that according to all but the first indicator, Israeli targeted killing operations conducted during the Second Intifada were less successful than those conducted prior to this conflict.
... Scholars have approached quantitative targeted killing evaluations from a variety of theoretical perspectives, but most of these works assume the policy implication of reduced operational and/or resource capability, based on the notion of the terrorist as a rational actor. For example, David (2003) discussed the limited pool of leaders who have both planning and bomb-making capabilities, leading to the conclusion that "if these people are eliminated, the ability to mount attacks is degraded" (p. 6). This researcher also contended that targeted killings have caused certain operatives to voluntarily surrender to authorities, whereas others are forced to take considerable precautions including sleeping in a new place every night. ...
Article
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Although there has been research assessing the effectiveness of targeted killings in a variety of contexts, there remains important gaps in the literature. This study addresses these gaps by evaluating previously established nuanced effects together in one analysis, while at the same time incorporating vital country-level controls. This investigation utilizes two types of analytic strategies, ZINB and series hazard models, with multiple independent and dependent variables. Overall, this study fails to find any clear evidence that targeted killings are correlated with terrorism outcomes in the three countries in which they are most commonly used: Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
... 7 The rise of mass armies, war, and ideational factors such as the assumption that states wage war rather than humans led to this taboo (Thomas 2000). 8 This 4 See, for example, David (2003) and Kasher and Yadlin (2005). Arguably, this has been an expression of an Israeli-way of war. 5 http://fas.org/irp/news/2003/02/wh021403b.html. ...
Article
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Targeted killing by drones is a systemic driven instrumental practice that overrides societal non-instrumental practices that are essential for international society. Doing so, targeted killing by drones is not simply another form of inflicting violence by technical means to political opponents. It also inflicts the agents applying this practice, tempting them to frame it as a permissible measure to preserve international society. The reliance on drones for targeted killing is a pursuit of non-societal practices that seek individual and retributive justice and anticipatory and preventive self-defence by means of force relying on technological advantage. Eventually, this practice permits military tactics to steer political strategy, mitigating standards and practices agreed on in international society’s norms, rules of conduct, and institutions.
... The policy became a subject of ethical assessment and international condemnation. Compared with previous applications of targeted killings, the large number of militant and civilian Palestinians killed during the second Intifada and the use of helicopters and warplanes as vehicles for the implementation of the policy were unprecedented (David, 2002). ...
Article
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This paper synthesizes interrelated postulations from the systemic conflict and intergroup conflict theorizations to glean the societal conflict conceptual framework. The paper employs this conceptual framework to appraise the validity of the societal characterization of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during the peace diplomacy era. Accordingly, the analysis uses the 'structured, focused comparison' qualitative method to investigate attitudinal and behavioral aspects of five cases of intercommunal violence within the Palestinian-Israeli context. The observed cumulative evidence indicates that the unresolved conflict has been exhibiting the conceptual properties of societal conflict throughout more than 25 years since the introduction of the Middle East peace process in 1991. Overall, the study explores the social, psychological, and political aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, accentuates the societal underpinnings of intercommunal violence, and provides basis for perceiving the limited success of peace diplomacy.
... " The debates surrounding targeted killings appear to center around three main issues. First, there are debates among ethicists concerning the normative implications that arise from the utilization of targeted killings by states (Stein, 2003; David, 2003b; Hitz, 2002; Lang, 2008; Altman & Wellman, 2008; Dolnik, 2002; Kasher & Yadlin, 2005). For example, is it proper for states to kill individuals whom they deem to be enemies of the state? ...
Article
This study examines the effectiveness of the United States’ targeted killing program. Specifically, do targeted killings work as an effective program for combating global terrorism? This thesis is divided into parts. The first section provides a brief introduction to targeted killings. The second part consists of an examination of targeted killings as an essentially contested concept, arguing that targeted killings can be defined in a manner consistent with the scientific enterprise. The third section contains a thorough review of the literature on targeted killings, demonstrating that there is a dearth of works investigating the actual effectiveness of targeted killings. The fourth portion outlines the methodologies chosen for this endeavor – a combination of quantitative and quantitative methodologies. The fifth part provides the descriptive and predictive results of the statistical analyses conducted in the course of this study. It is found that the statistical data provides mixed results concerning the effectiveness of targeted killings. The sixth section contains the qualitative data uncovered in the authors’ research. The qualitative information provides strong support to the view that targeted killings are an effective method for combating terrorist groups. The final chapter consists of an analysis of the results, thoughts on future research and methodologies, and policy recommendations.
... 16 Also, while finding that leadership decapitation does not diminish terrorist attacks in the short term, David concludes that it reduces the capacity of terrorist networks to carry out attacks in the long term, especially when "leadership, planning, and tactical skills" are limited to a few individuals. 17 However, other works cast doubt on the importance of terrorist leaders, and, by extension, the resources expended to target them. Critics of leadership decapitation argue that doing so can increase groups' recruitment and generate support for their narrative. ...
Article
Employing counterfactuals to assess individual and systemic explanations for the split between al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), this article concludes that individual leaders factor greatly into terrorist alliance outcomes. Osama bin Laden was instrumental in keeping al Qaeda and ISIS allied as he prioritized unity and handled internal disputes more deftly than his successor, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Although a troubled alliance, strategic differences between al Qaeda and ISIS were not sufficient to cause the split. Rather, the capabilities of al Qaeda's leader determined the group's ability to prevent alliance ruptures.
... The Israelis must conclude that they would be unable to arrest the individuals themselves -And the killing must be done to prevent an imminent or future terrorist attack-not for revenge or retribution. 112 The Israeli High Court supported these conditions in a strongly worded statement on 29th January 2002, rejecting petitions calling for an end to targeted killing. Provided these conditions are followed, targeted killing is judged to be consistent with Israeli law. ...
Technical Report
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Remote Control’s latest report tracks the UK’s secretive but growing military commitments abroad by analysing the rise in the use of drones for targeted killing, the use of Special Forces, and the provision of capabilities such as intelligence and embedded troops to allied forces. The deniability of these operations may bring flexibility, which can create opportunities when it comes to dealing with fluid and complex security threats. But we question the notion that greater secrecy is always better strategy, particularly in an age when leaks of information are seemingly inevitable, demand for political accountability is high, and trust in politicians and the wider expert community is low.
... Similarly, at the first anniversary of bin Laden's assassination Obama said that his country managed to "bring justice to a man who killed over 3 thousand citizens". Similar conclusions appear also in scientific articles (David 2003). These statements are surprising, since they mean that a typical example of implementation of targeted killing policy, which was bin Laden's killing, was an act of justice understood in terms of retribution, or as a retaliation for the harm done to a give community. ...
Conference Paper
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The purpose of this paper is the analysis of both legal and ethical ways of justifying targeted killings. I compare two legal models: the law enforcement model vs the rules of armed conflicts; and two ethical ones: retribution vs the right of self-defence. I argue that, if the targeted killing is to be either legally or ethically justified, it would be so due to fulfilling of some criteria common for all acceptable forms of killing, and not because terrorist activity is somehow distinguished and gives special privileges to a state that fights it. The practical implication of my analysis is that one of the most spectacular targeted killings, which was the targeting and killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, was not justified, because it was only supposed to be a retribution for the September 11th terrorist attacks.
... 16 Also, while finding that leadership decapitation does not diminish terrorist attacks in the short term, David concludes that it reduces the capacity of terrorist networks to carry out attacks in the long term, especially when "leadership, planning, and tactical skills" are limited to a few individuals. 17 However, other works cast doubt on the importance of terrorist leaders, and, by extension, the resources expended to target them. Critics of leadership decapitation argue that doing so can increase groups' recruitment and generate support for their narrative. ...
... The first branch on the use of targeted killing includes statistical studies on the frequency of targeting killing (Eisner, 2011; see also the descriptive statistics in Jones & Olken, 2009;McGovern, 2010), work on the history of targeted-killing strategies (F. L. Ford, 1985), and studies on how and why agents resort to this type of violence (David, 2003;Gazit & Brym, 2011;Iqbal & Zorn, 2008;Jacobsen & Kaplan, 2007;Plaw, 2008;Teergarden, 2014). In this context, scholars have also inquired into the trends and causes of the proliferation of drones as the preferred instruments of contemporary targeted-killing operations (Gilli & Gilli, 2016;Horowitz & Fuhrman, 2015;Sayler, 2015; see also critically Carvin, 2015). ...
Article
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This article introduces the special issue’s question of whether and how the current transformation of targeted killing is transforming the global international order and provides the conceptual ground for the individual contributions to the special issue. It develops a two-dimensional concept of political order and introduces a theoretical framework that conceives the maintenance and transformation of international order as a dynamic interplay between its behavioral dimension in the form of violence and discursive processes and its institutional dimension in the form of ideas, norms, and rules. The article also conceptualizes targeted killing and introduces a typology of targeted-killing acts on the basis of their legal and moral legitimacy. Building on this conceptual groundwork, the article takes stock of the current transformation of targeted killing and summarizes the individual contributions to this special issue.
... We have found that three essays on the ethical dilemmas revolving around the permissibility of Israel's use of targeted assassinations against Palestinian militants during the second intifada served as a useful accompaniments to these exercises. In the first of these essays, David argues that the targeting killing is not assassination and that, although there is little evidence of success, it may have a long-term impact (David 2003b). In the second essay, Stein argues against him, saying that the practice is unjustified even if legal and effective (Stein 2003;133). ...
Article
With the War on Terror in its eighth year and with America’s continued presence in Afghanistan and Iraq the issue of political violence has continued salience for American college students studying politics. In this paper we focus on an approach to teaching about the ethics of political violence. We first sketch out an approach to teaching about Aristotelian, Utilitarian and Kantian approaches to ethics and then an interactive exercise using a series of mini-case studies and mini-simulations to get students engaged in thinking about different approaches to thinking about the ethics of political violence.
... Reminding terrorists that they are on the losing end of an asymmetrical power balance that overwhelmingly favors the state. According to some of targeted killings' proponents, threatening and using coercive 15 Byman, 2006;David 2003;Wilner, Alex S., -Targeted Killings capabilities to constantly remind terrorist leaders and rank and file members of that fact can erode terrorists' morale and elicit changes in both their motivation and behavior. 18 Gal Luft, for example, suggests that killing terrorist leaders signals to others within the organization the dangers of taking on a leadership role. ...
Article
The CIA's targeted killings with drones in Pakistan is a highly problematic practice that has continued to expand in secrecy without proper democratic control. In the US, targeted killing is regarded as a necessary and, with some caveats, effective counterterrorism policy. As such, it is setting a controversial precedent for covert warfare that jars with the understanding underlying counterterrorism cooperation between the US and the EU. That notwithstanding, the Union has apparently opted for a policy of silence or, better, for having no policy at all on the matter. In so doing, the EU might be avoiding a potentially harmful rift with the US, but it is also deliberately refusing to face one of the moral dilemmas related to counterterrorism in the 21st century.
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This article presents six theses on targeted killing as a form of political violence. These explore the power relations, lawfare, scopic regimes, forms of spatial management and symbolic communications which suggest that the practice of targeted killing arises from the failures of the Western global counter‐insurgency campaign to achieve its aims. Therefore, rather than demonstrating omniscience and omnipotence, targeted killing is indicative of the Western position of weakness in the wars of ‘the colonial present’.
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Forests are important resources for local livelihoods and the economy. Forests regulate climate by sequestrating and storing carbon and harbor significant biodiversity. Yet, forest cover can be significantly affected by changes in institutional and political framework conditions such as induced by the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and the war in Kosovo. This study analyzes the patterns of changes in forest cover for a period from 1988 to 2000 and from 2000 and 2007 for Albania and Kosovo. The methodological approach applied geographically weighted regression using remote sensing forest data. Three models were developed and fitted using these forest data: one based on the environmental factors and two models associated with demographic and policy variables. The decomposition of local variation of the relationships of the forest cover change and variables was undertaken to built-up a hierarchy of determinants. Policy model included protected areas, commune forests, accessible determinants and obtained the lowest Corrected Akaike Information values, and accessible variables were the determinants explaining the patterns of forest cover changes in the study area. It is demonstrated how the results of the descriptive statistics and models can be incorporated to investigate the changes of forested landscape at country-level and village-level. Descriptive statistics demonstrated deforestation in protected areas and the modeling in the surroundings of protected areas. These results show clearly forest reforms, institutions and users contribute to the changes of forested landscape, indicating the importance of collaboration between institutions and users to monitoring of all activities in forests.
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This article begins by presenting a biopolitical account of assassination and targeted killing events carried out by liberal regimes. It argues that forms of political violence are understood and made meaningful beyond the administrative frameworks and technical rationalizations often privileged in biopolitical analyses. Deploying Alan Feldman’s (1991) argument that political violence is an ‘emplotted action’ alongside William Connolly’s (2005) notion of resonance, it provides a genealogical account of how forms of assassination have been positioned within Western cultural understandings of political violence. The focal point of examination is the biblical heroine Judith, whose story has resonated as a preferred narrative structure for understanding and (de)legitimating acts of assassination among Western publics. Through its reading of the book of Judith, the article highlights the importance of ambivalence for understanding assassination as a form of political violence. The legacy of the moral problematique enabled by Judith is then illustrated in relation to US President Barak Obama’s May 2011 speech announcing the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The article concludes by suggesting that although the story of Judith may underpin contemporary assassination practices, it also offers a means of critically engaging with them.
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The purpose of this paper is to provide a philosophical defense for targeted killings in the wars against terror. The paper argues that if one accepts the moral legitimacy of the large-scale killing of combatants in conventional (what are soon to be called "old-fashioned") wars, one cannot object - on moral grounds - to the targeted killing of terrorists in wars against terror. If one rejects this legitimacy, one must object to all killing in war, targeted and non-targeted alike, and thus not support the view, which is criticized here, that targeted killings are particularly disturbing from a moral point of view.
Chapter
This chapter examines the effectiveness of leadership decapitation as a counterterrorism tool. Several States have put decapitation tactics—those that seek to kill or capture the leader of an organization—at the forefront of their counterterrorism efforts. However, most of the scholarly work on decapitation suggests it is ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. Using survival analysis to measure decapitation effectiveness against an original dataset, this chapter shows that decapitation significantly increases the mortality rate (the rate at which groups end) of terrorist groups. The results indicate that the effect of decapitation on terrorist group mortality decreases with the age of the group, even to a point where decapitation may have no effect on the group’s mortality rate, which helps explain the previously perplexing mixed record of decapitation effectiveness. Additionally, this work puts forth a theoretical justification for why terrorist groups are especially susceptible to decapitation tactics and challenges the conventional wisdom regarding terrorist group durability, showing that politically relevant terrorist groups last significantly longer than previously believed.
Article
The Palestinian people have fought for decades for their independence. However, the Palestinian area is being steadily reduced as a result of Israel's annexation efforts, therefore independence is not achieved. Political liberalism in the age of globalization is mostly ineffective, as international norms and regulations are unable to prevent Israel's annexation of Palestine. This study intends to investigate if international political realism still exists in the period of globalization, which is characterized by global political interdependence. In this work, a descriptive analytic approach with qualitative research and literature review approaches are utilized to collect data. The results demonstrate that the existence of realism may be demonstrated in the question of Israel's annexation of Palestine, where the use of force is still emphasized in order to further Israel's national interests. Israel continues to develop weapons technology in order to maintain control over Palestine as part of its annexation of the territory. In addition, Israel's alliance with Western nations, particularly the United States, and its noncompliance with international norms and laws demonstrate that political liberalism in the form of international organizations cannot be a solution to the Israeli occupation conflict in Palestine and a manifestation of realism in the age of globalization.
Chapter
Precision is a doubly demanding concept. It is used in two related senses: in the calculation of an action aimed at the target to be hit and only that target, and also with regard to the distinction between civilians and combatants. This is one of the reasons why the policy of targeted killings is, no doubt, the most emblematic example of all forms of preventive action. Widely vaunted for their precision, “targeted killings” (the criterion and the term are both worthy of discussion) are one of the marks of Israel’s battle against those it refers to as enemies who kill its citizens. The United States uses similar methods.
Article
In December 2006 the Israeli High Court of Justice delivered its ruling in the Targeted Killing case (HCJ 769/02). The Court laid out four criteria that must be met for operations conducted as part of Israel's targeted killing policy to be performed legally, and imposed on the state two safeguards to ensure that each operation complies with these criteria. This research examines whether Israel has complied with the ruling in its post-2006 targeted killing operations. The article presents strong evidence which suggests that Israel complies with the Court's four requirements, although there is insufficient information to render a definitive conclusion regarding requirement 3, the principle of proportionality. However, the evidence also casts doubt on Israel's conformity with the two safeguards. The most significant issues revolve around Israel's implementation of and compliance with safeguard 1, the independent ex post facto investigative committee, which should review operations that cause civilian casualties. These concerns include the composition of the committee, its objectivity and independence. In addition, Israel's evolving understanding of the legal status of terrorists has significantly narrowed the jurisdiction of the committee and the HCJ's ruling more generally. These issues are exacerbated by the absence of evidence that safeguard 2, judicial oversight, has occurred.
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Targeted killings are a counter-terrorism measure that has been employed by the State of Israel ever since it has been forced to deal with the phenomenon of terrorism, i.e., since the establishment of the state in 1948 (in fact, it was used even prior to this, during the British Mandate era in the 1940s, which saw violent clashes between Arab gangs and the Jewish underground).
Thesis
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The master's thesis aims to characterize the activities of intelligence agencies in the conditions of an armed conflict in the countries of South-West Asia. The thesis begins with a description of the history of the secret services, their development and the role they played during selected conflicts. The following chapters describe the history and role of organizations such as the CIA, Mossad and MIT and their activities against international terrorism. The war on terror is the main background to the events described in this work. Ways of combating terrorism with the participation of intelligence institutions, changes in legislation and controversy resulting from the abuse of competences under the guise of combating terrorism are presented. The consequence of giving intelligence agencies too much competence may be excessive surveillance of citizens, interference in the internal affairs of other countries and the implementation of private interests. In the Middle East, this leads to the radicalization of young generations and is a stimulus for the creation of new terrorist organizations. On the other hand, intelligence institutions with new powers have repeatedly proved to be more effective in fighting the enemy than the army. The work describes many examples that justify both positions. Praca magisterska ma na celu charakterystykę działań agencji wywiadowczych w warunkach konfliktu zbrojnego na terenie państw Azji Południowo-Zachodniej. Praca rozpoczyna się od opisu historii tajnych służb, ich rozwoju oraz roli, jaką pełniły w trakcie wybranych konfliktów. W kolejnych rozdziałach opisana jest historia i rola takich organizacji jak CIA, Mossad i MIT oraz ich działania wymierzone w międzynarodowy terroryzm. Wojna z terroryzmem to główne tło wydarzeń opisywanych w tej pracy. Przedstawione są sposoby na zwalczanie terroryzmu z udziałem instytucji wywiadowczych, zmiany w ustawodawstwie oraz kontrowersje wynikające z nadużywania kompetencji pod przykrywką zwalczania terroryzmu. Konsekwencją nadania agencjom wywiadowczych zbyt dużych kompetencji może być nadmierna inwigilacja obywateli, ingerencja w sprawy wewnętrzne innych państw oraz realizacja prywatnych interesów. Na terenie Bliskiego Wschodu doprowadza to do radykalizacji młodych pokoleń oraz jest bodźcem powstania kolejnych organizacji terrorystycznych. Z drugiej strony, instytucje wywiadowcze posiadające nowe kompetencje, wielokrotnie okazywały się bardziej skuteczne w walce z wrogiem, niż armia. W pracy opisanych jest wiele przykładów uzasadniających jedno i drugie stanowisko.
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At the beginning of its democratic journey, Bangladesh experienced political turbulence, which saw the jurisdiction introduce laws enabling its law enforcement agencies to use deadly force. As such, the continuous use of force as well as extrajudicial killing, also known as crossfire, has increased at an alarming rate. This study discussed the practices of the use of force and gun violence by the law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh since the creation of an elite force in 2004. This book chapter is based on secondary data published in the reports of human rights organizations, such as ASK, Odhikar, Amnesty International, South Asian Terrorism Portal, as well as in the news reports and articles published in both national and international reports.
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Afghanistan is one of the most drone-affected states, however, very few scholarly studies of drone use there exist. This article uses original fieldwork data in a strategically important area of Afghanistan, eastern Nangarhar province, to analyse drone effects in context. It raises important concerns about the ability of the US to attain stated counterterrorism and counterinsurgency goals. Our results show contextualised analysis of drone use necessitates appropriate enquiry into policy, doctrine, and local circumstances. It also reveals serious incoherence, inaccurate assumptions, and insufficient appreciation of local circumstances and dynamics not only in US policy and doctrine, but also numerous scholarly studies of drone use effectiveness. This has far-reaching policy, operational, and research implications, including regarding local communities’ governance, relations, and resilience to insurgent and terrorist encroachment. Therefore, we contribute to debates about how to analyse and assess drone use and its effects, why drone analysis needs to change, and what more effective forms of research and analysis can reveal.
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Σκοπός της παρούσης εργασίας είναι να παράσχει μια εμπεριστατωμένη νομική προσέγγιση της χρήσης των στοχευμένων ανθρωποκτονιών ως μέσου αντιμετώπισης της διεθνούς τρομοκρατίας. Η μελέτη τόσο των υφιστάμενων κανόνων συμβατικού δικαίου όσο και της διαμορφωμένης από τα κράτη πρακτικής κρίνεται απαραίτητη, προκειμένου να αναζητηθεί ένα όσο το δυνατόν πιο ασφαλές δικαιικό πλαίσιο για την ένταξη της εν λόγω μορφής διεξαγωγής επιχειρήσεων. Στην προσπάθεια αυτή κρίνεται απαραίτητη η αποσαφήνιση των όρων και των προϋποθέσεων εφαρμογής τους, αφενός στο πλαίσιο επιβολής της εσωτερικής έννομης τάξης (law enforcement model), αφετέρου σε καθεστώς ένοπλης σύγκρουσης (armed conflict model). Ενώ στην πρώτη περίπτωση οι στοχευμένες ανθρωποκτονίες αποτελούν ζήτημα πολιτικής, στη δεύτερη εντάσσονται στις πράξεις πολέμου, διαφορά που αναδεικνύει και την οριοθέτηση μεταξύ του Δικαίου των Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων και του Δικαίου των Ενόπλων Συρράξεων στην εξέταση της εν λόγω πρακτικής.
Article
This paper engages with the security dynamics underlying the use of drones and their impact on security subjects – individuals and groups that are the ultimate recipients of specific security policies, regardless of whether these have beneficial effects on them. Using Mark Duffield’s distinction between the insured Global North and the non-insured Global South, this paper discusses how drones generate a radical dissociation between the intervener and the intervened that ultimately produces new security environments at the margins of the international system. These new security environments are defined by the articulation between space, technologies and bodies: bodies of invisible subjects; bodies that are uninsurable.
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Article
The effects of repeated leadership targeting on militant organizations have been little discussed and quantitatively assessed. This research undertakes to assess the policy’s effectiveness by account for targeting policies’ repeated nature. Analysis of 207 militant organizations between 1970 and 2008 finds that repeated targeting can hasten a group’s demise, but quadratically. While initial targeting interventions actually increase a group’s resilience, a series of successive attacks significantly reduces their survivability. This effect is particularly significant for young organizations. The findings suggest that for targeting to be effective, patience and repeated interventions are required; it is erroneous to conclude its effectiveness based on a single intervention result.
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Rapid developments in digital infrastructure have made all-encompassing surveillance all too possible. However, the same infrastructure has simultaneously enabled the use of new possibility spaces that react to, shape, and resist these structures of control and surveillance. The Israel/Palestine conflict is no different, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has created an electronic unit with hackers to circumvent and resist the Israeli matrix of control and its surveillance. I argue that out of this dialectical relationship in Palestine, between new possibility spaces of resistance and structures of control, new phenomena arise in the gray area between the nation state hacker and the hacktivist as PIJ emulates the features of a modern state army. To understand the nature of its electronic unit, one must take this dialectic into account by introducing the category, “proto-state hacker.”
Book
Looking beyond the events of the second intifada and 9/11, this book reveals how targeted killing is intimately embedded in both Israeli and US statecraft, and in the problematic relationship between sovereign authority and lawful violence underpinning the modern state system. It details the legal and political issues raised in targeted killing as it has emerged in practice, including questions of domestic constitutional authority, the use of force in international law, the law of belligerent occupation, the law of targeting and human rights law. The distinctive nature of Israeli and US targeted killing is analysed in terms of the compulsion of legality characteristic of the liberal constitutional state, a compulsion that demands the ability to distinguish between legal 'targeted killing' and extra-legal 'political assassination'. The effect is a highly legalized framework for the extraterritorial killing of designated terrorists that may significantly affect the international law of force. Provides an historical account of the concept of targeted killing which helps readers understand it as a concept that has emerged alongside the expansion of the practices that it seeks to describe and legitimise Corrects the prevailing understanding that targeted killing emerged by way of departure from existing policies and legal positions in the contexts of the second intifada and 9/11, highlighting instead a much longer and mutually productive relationship with law Covers drone technology as part of the chronicling of targeted killing, thereby giving much needed legal, political and historical context to the contemporary debate about drones.
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Selektywna eliminacja (targeted killing) terrorystów z wykorzystaniem bezpilotowych statków latających (tzw. dronów) jest jedną z kluczowych metod stosowanych przez Stany Zjednoczone w ramach tzw. wojny z terroryzmem. Jej znaczenie jeszcze bardziej wzrosło od czasu, gdy USA zmniejszyły swoje zaangażowanie w wielkie kampanie w Afganistanie i Iraku. W świetle strat, jakie amerykańskie siły zbrojne poniosły w tych operacjach, drony jawią się jako wygodne, stosunkowo tanie i mało ryzykowne narzędzie. Z drugiej jednak strony, działania takie budzą ogromne kontrowersje, zarówno z uwagi na ofiary wśród ludności cywilnej, jak i z powodu samej natury ataków dokonywanych przez drony. Stanowią one bowiem ostatnie jak dotąd ogniwo typowej dla państw zachodnich tendencji do opierania działań wojennych na przewadze technologicznej, pozwalającej atakować wroga bez narażania własnych żołnierzy. Artykuł umieszcza selektywną eliminację w długiej tradycji dyplomacji opartej na sile zbrojnej. Przeanalizowano wpływ działań realizowanych z wykorzystaniem dronów na opinię publiczną, co jest kluczowe w warunkach prowadzenia współczesnej wojny, a także na charakter stosunków łączących Stany Zjednoczone z państwami, na terenach których dokonywane są ataki. Wreszcie odniesiono się do dylematów związanych z legalnością selektywnej eliminacji – a także, w szerszym ujęciu, działań podejmowanych w ramach wojny z terroryzmem – w kontekście prawa międzynarodowego. Targeted killing of terrorists with the use of drones is one of the key methods used by the United States in the so-called war against terrorism. Its importance has further increased with the USA’s decreased engagement in big campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. In view of the losses suffered by the American armed forces during the operations in questions, drones seem to be a comfortable, relatively cheap and low-risk tool. However, such undertakings have generated a lot of controversy, both over casualties among civilians and the type of attacks performed by drones. Indeed, drones constitute the most recent example of the tendency, typical of the Western countries, for warfare to draw on technological advances, which allows for attacking the enemy without risking the lives of own soldiers. The article places targeted killing within the well-established tradition of diplomacy drawing on military force. The influence of drone-based actions on the public opinion has been analysed, which is crucial from the point of view of the conditions in which the war is being fought and of the nature of the relations between the United States and the countries whose territories have become the main arenas of attack. Then, dilemmas have been discussed related to the legality of targeted killing. Finally, the author has presented a broader perspective on the actions undertaken as part of the war on terrorism in the context of international law.
Chapter
The terminology that Israel has chosen for the purpose of defining targeted killing operations is greatly significant, because it actually reflects Israel's position on this modus operandi, as well as the changing of the Israeli narrative over the years. In the 1970s, the targeted killings carried out around the world in the wake of the attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics were termed “Hisul Ishim”—“elimination of senior officials” by Israel (the label likely reflecting its desire to seek revenge on the perpetrators of this devastating attack).
Article
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Member states have often resorted to decapitation as a weapon against terrorist organizations. Evidence from other counterterrorism experiences show a possible benefit from preserving ideologues or organizational leaders of terrorist groups, and using them in efforts of deradicalization or disengagement.
Article
In the ongoing war on terror both the American and Israeli governments have resorted to 'targeting terrorists': the governments authorize military or intelligence agents to kill specific 'terrorists' who they believe mortally threaten citizens and cannot otherwise be neutralized. This policy, however, has been widely criticized as illegal, immoral and ineffective. This article evaluates arguments for and against the legality, morality and effectiveness of targeting, and concludes that while the policy is defensible in principle, some specific targetings have been indefensible. It recommends a compromise between advocates and critics in the form of judicial supervision by Federal Counterterrorism Oversight Courts.
Article
From 1965 until 1980, there was a virtual moratorium on executions for capital offenses in the United States. This was due primarily to protracted legal proceedings challenging the death penalty on constitutional grounds. After much Sturm und Drang, the Supreme Court of the United States, by a divided vote, finally decided that "the death penalty does not invariably violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment." The Court's decisions, however, do not moot the controversy about the death penalty or render this excellent book irrelevant. The ball is now in the court of the Legislature and the Executive. Leg­ islatures, federal and state, can impose or abolish the death penalty, within the guidelines prescribed by the Supreme Court. A Chief Executive can commute a death sentence. And even the Supreme Court can change its mind, as it has done on many occasions and did, with respect to various aspects of the death penalty itself, durlog the moratorium period. Also, the people can change their minds. Some time ago, a majority, according to reliable polls, favored abolition. Today, a substantial majority favors imposition of the death penalty. The pendulum can swing again, as it has done in the past.
Article
RICHARD BETTS argues that the September 11 attacks were a response to American primacy and then applies offense-defense theory to explain the intense advantages that terrorist groups have in launching offensive strikes and in exploiting the defenses that a nation can put up in this era of globalization and asymmetric warfare.
Article
Includes bibliographical references. Spine title: Assassination and the law of armed conflict. Published: 134 Mil. L. Rev. 123 (1991). Thesis (LL. M.)--Judge Advocate General's School, 1991.
Israel's Unwise Offensive
" Israel's Unwise Offensive, " New York Times, March 14, 2002, p. A30.
Powell Ends Trip; Sees No Cease-Fire before a Pullout
  • James Bennet
  • Patrick Tyler
  • David E Sanger
  • Todd S Purdum
  • Eric Schmitt
James Bennet, " Israeli Forces Pull Back from Jenin, But Blockade Still Remains, " New York Times, April 19, 2002, p. A10; James Bennet, " Powell Ends Trip; Sees No Cease-Fire before a Pullout, " New York Times, April 18, 2002, p. A1; and Patrick Tyler, David E. Sanger, Todd S. Purdum, and Eric Schmitt, " With Time Running Out, Bush Shifted Mideast Policy, " New York Times, June 30, 2002, p. A12. 36 As of December 2002, 1,794 Palestinians and 673
The Ethics of Retaliation
  • Lichtenberg
Military Experts Debate Moral Ramifications of Killing Leaders
  • Levins Harry
Announced Assassinations
  • Shapiro
Fatal Strike in Yemen Was Based on Rules Set Out by Bush
  • Johnston David
  • Sanger David
Pre-Emptive Targeted Killings’ as a Counter-Terror Tool: An Assessment of Israel's Approach,” Peacewatch
  • Eisenstadt Michael
IDF Lawyers Set ‘Conditions’ for Selective Assassination Policy”; and Shapiro
  • Alon Harel
Making Rules in the World Between War and Peace
  • Tim Weiner
The Permissibility of State-Sponsored Assassination During Peace and War
  • Beres