Legality Of Drone Strikes Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Terrorism Type: Essay Paper: #18288535 Related Topics: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Due Process, Al Qaeda
Excerpt from Essay :

Drone Strikes

The use of remote-controlled airplanes known as drones has become increasingly common. Although surely not the only country to use them, the United States has gotten the most attention. The attention is due mostly because of the Hellfire missiles those drones have been dropping in areas of Pakistan and other countries in the greater Middle East area. While the legal grounds for these strikes in general is not on firm footing in the eyes of many people, there are those that assert emphatically that drone strikes on people who are United States citizens is too much and should not happen. Such was the case with Anwar al-Awlaki and his fate. While the United States' stated reasons for assassinating al-Awlaki are fairly straightforward, some suggest his status as a United States citizen afforded him due process and thus the drone strike should never have happened.


If Osama bin Laden had been killed with a drone strike (he was not), there are probably not a lot of people that would openly complain about it. However, al-Awlaki was a different sort of case. The complication, as inferred in the introduction, is that al-Awlaki was a United States citizen. It is true that he was engaging...


Even so, some assert that al-Awlaki should have been captured, if possible, and brought to trial. Some people made the same argument for bin Laden and others before they were taken out. However, there are many other people that demarcate criminal trials and acts of war. Those that place al-Awlaki in the second of those two echelons would assert that since he was taking up war against the United States via Al Qaeda and/or supporting those that due, this gave the United States a clear right to eliminate him and his support of terrorist activities through any means they saw fit. Another complication involved in this is that al-Awlaki was not acting at the behest of a nation state. Much like other terrorist acts, pinning the acts on a single nation is less than easy to do (Shane, 2015). Indeed, most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis but there has been no concerted effort to punish Saudi Arabia for that (Shenon, 2016). At…

Sources Used in Documents:


Ackerman, S. (2014). 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: U.S. drone strikes -- the facts on the ground. the Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2016, from

Greenspan, J. (2013). Remembering the 1988 Lockerbie Bombing - History in the Headlines. Retrieved 21 May 2016, from

2016, from
Shane, S. (2015). The Lessons of Anwar al-Awlaki. Retrieved 21 May 2016, from
The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2016, from

Cite this Document:

"Legality Of Drone Strikes" (2016, May 21) Retrieved January 23, 2022, from

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"Legality Of Drone Strikes", 21 May 2016, Accessed.23 January. 2022,

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