Vested Interest or Moral Indecisiveness? Explaining the EU's Silence on the US Targeted Killing Policy in Pakistan
The CIA's targeted killings with drones in Pakistan is a highly problematic practice that has continued to expand in secrecy without proper democratic control. In the US, targeted killing is regarded as a necessary and, with some caveats, effective counterterrorism policy. As such, it is setting a controversial precedent for covert warfare that jars with the understanding underlying counterterrorism cooperation between the US and the EU. That notwithstanding, the Union has apparently opted for a policy of silence or, better, for having no policy at all on the matter. In so doing, the EU might be avoiding a potentially harmful rift with the US, but it is also deliberately refusing to face one of the moral dilemmas related to counterterrorism in the 21st century.
1. What is targeted killing?
2. The US targeted killing policy in Pakistan
2.1. The drones attacks in Pakistan: some figures
2.2. Effectiveness of targeted killing as a counterterrorism policy
2.3. Are there any alternatives to targeted killing?
3. Legal assessment of targeted killing
3.1. How do attacks get approved in the US?
3.2. Main legal issues
3.2.1. Framework and status of terrorists
3.2.2. Sovereignty versus self-defence
3.2.3. The role of the CIA
4. The EU and the US drone strike policy
4.1. Targeted killing in Pakistan and the EU institutions
4.2. Targeted killing in Pakistan and the member states
4.3. Development and use of drones by EU member states
4.4. Explaining the EU's (non-)policy of silence