The Ethics of Targeted Killing:
Osama bin Laden, Drones, and Counter-Terrorism
by Seumas Miller
The term, "targeted killing" is currently most often used to refer to the killing
of terrorists by members of the security agencies of liberal democratic states.
The most spectacular example of this was the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S.
Special Forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. Other notable examples are the
killing of members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas
members by Israeli Mossad operatives and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). In
Afghanistan and in the tribal areas of Pakistan (Federally Administered Tribal
Areas, or FATA—especially North Waziristan), the US military and the CIA
have used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to kill large numbers of