What should be done if there are no obvious battlefields and no certain combatants? Should propagandists be treated as fighters? Are any procedural protections required before a U.S. citizen can be killed?
Having killed the world's most notorious terrorist in a cross-border "kill operation," U.S.-targeted killing is at the center of public attention and international scrutiny. Now is the time for the U.S. to publicly announce a clear policy on targeted killing.
The use of drones to deliver deadly force is not necessarily a violation of law. In war, killing is permitted, but subject to certain limitations. The U.S should make public the criteria it uses to determine that a drone strike is lawful.
The latest Petraeus/Gates media tour is under way in preparation for the general's testimony to Congress next week, and they're trotting out the same, tired spin they've been using since McChrystal was replaced in disgrace last year.