Targeted Killing, Lawfare, and the Deconstruction of the Battlefield
In recent years there has been a huge amount of interest in drone warfare and targeted killing. Unsurprisingly, the focus has been on the ever-expanding US targeted killing program. In this chapter I argue that contemporary US targeted killing is rooted in important ways in a juridical form of assassination invented and developed by Israel in the early 2000s. I draw on ideas of mobile and travelling law to demonstrate how a ‘legal right to kill’ asserted by Israeli war lawyers was subsequently adopted, and later expanded, by the US military. Israeli and US targeted killing does not simply ignore law; it takes place through it and international law especially has become a key means through which violence is legitimated and extended. The result is a juridical violence that that is rewriting the very boundaries and meaning of war.
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