Committee Reports

The Legality Under International Law of Targeted Killings by Drones Launched by the United States (Introduction and Executive Summary)


Anticipating that targeted killings by drones may increase in the future, both by the United States and by other countries, the International Law Committee issued a report analyzing the legality of targeted killings by drones launched by the United States, in the context of international law. The 181-page report presents an extensive analysis of current international law and draws a number of conclusions from that analysis. The report notes that the international legal issues are “complex,” and the analysis “complicated” because, among other reasons, “although the analysis of the legality of a drone strike is highly fact-specific, the facts surrounding the strikes are unclear.” The report does not address the legality of targeted killings under domestic U.S. law or the appropriate policy that should be followed by the U.S.