‘At war’ US justifies drone attacks in Pak as act of ‘self-defence’

Amid growing discontent in Pakistan over the continuous drone attacks in the ungoverned tribal regions near the Afghan-Pak border, the United States has justified the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) operated missile hits against Al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists citing the right to “self-defence” under international law.

The drone attacks in Pakistan as well in Somalia have increased considerably under the Obama Administration, which have been severely criticised by human rights groups across the world.

Speaking during a conference of the American Society of International Law, State Department’s legal advisor Harold Koh argued that the missile hits were justified.

“The United States is in “an armed conflict” with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and its affiliates as a result of the September 11 attacks, and may use force consistent with its inherent right to self-defence under the international law,” Koh said without mentioning Pakistan or other countries where the unmanned Predators have struck.

“What I can say is that it is the considered view of this administration, and it has certainly been my experience during my time as legal adviser that the US targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war,” he said justifying the strikes, a topic which has remained off-limits of US officials.

Koh, who remained a fierce critic of former President George W Bush’s policies, said the drone strikes can not be considered as ‘assassination’, as it is an act of ‘self-defence’ by Washington.

“The use of lawful weapons systems, consistent with the applicable laws of war, for precision targeting of specific high-level belligerent leaders when acting in self-defence or uring an armed conflict is not unlawful, and hence does not constitute assassination,” The News quoted Koh, as saying.


Articles by: Global Research

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]