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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.