Since the advent of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, it has become generally accepted that the modern concept of war has evolved considerably from any wars fought during both recent and long-past history. Indeed, as prior U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wrote when describing the war on terror, “this will be a war like none other our nation has faced.” However, these changes bring the morality of this new face of war into question, and the justification of drone use and other modern military tactics involved in the war on terror is a subject of much debate. Focusing on U.S. involvement in Yemen from 2010-2015 as part of the war on terror, this essay will argue that, while the U.S. has met most of the criteria of jus ad bellum, the methods the U.S. has employed to counter terro...
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...anization that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first. So this is a just war — a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense.
And yet, as our fight enters a new phase, America’s legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion. To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power — or risk abusing it. And that’s why, over the last four years, my administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists –- insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight and accountability that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance that I signed yesterday .
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