The targeted killing of suspected terrorists and other nonstate actors, pioneered by Israel, is being utilized with growing frequency by the United States and other nations as a warfare and anti-terrorism tactic. The rise of targeted killings, often with armed drones and other precision weapons, has changed the nature of military operations, allowing states to intervene remotely in long-running conflicts. The United States killed up to 16,900 people in drone strikes between 2010 and 2020, including as many as 2,200 civilians, mainly in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Afghanistan, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a British media organization. Often occurring outside defined battlefields with little accountability, the practice is raising ethical and legal issues. Critics also question the effectiveness of targeted killings, saying the ...

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