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Targeted killing

Murder or assassination by governments against perceived enemies / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Targeted killing is a form of murder or assassination carried out by governments outside a judicial procedure or a battlefield.[1][2][3][4]

Combat drones, such as the Predator drone, are mainly used in targeted killings.

Since the late 20th century, the legal status of targeted killing has become a subject of contention within and between various nations. Historically, at least since the mid-eighteenth century, Western thinking has generally considered the use of assassination as a tool of statecraft to be illegal.[5] Some academics, military personnel and officials[6] describe targeted killing as legitimate within the context of self-defense, when employed against terrorists or combatants engaged in asymmetrical warfare. They argue that drones are more humane and more accurate than manned vehicles,[7][8] and that targeted or "named killings" do not occur in any context other than a declared state of war.[9]

Scholars are also divided as to whether targeted killings are an effective counterterrorism strategy.[10][11][12][13][14][15]