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Q & A: US Targeted Killings and International Law

This Q&A focuses on legal and policy issues related to targeted killings, primarily attacks using unmanned aerial vehicles, known as drones, conducted by the US Armed Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Human Rights Watch raised many of the issues addressed here in a December 2010 letter to President Obama.   Following the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush began a campaign of “targeted killings” against suspected members of al Qaeda and other armed groups. It has continued under the administration of President Barack…

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