Is the government justified in targeting terrorists outside the border?

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Internal Security, Topic: Terrorism & extremism, Issue: Targeting terrorists outside the border

Targeted killing of terrorists:

  • There’s no clear legal definition of targeted killings in international law, but three factors are conventionally considered:
  • Terrorist designation, difficulty in extradition, and ongoing threat.
  • Targeted killings often involve self-defense and preemptive action, sanctioned under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
  • The criteria for targeted killings may vary based on the perceived threat and international acceptance of terrorist designation.
  • The U.S. and Israel have conducted targeted killings with less scrutiny, often without meeting all three criteria.
  • Political dynamics and ties between countries influence responses to allegations of targeted killings.

The way ahead:

  • A more proactive approach to strategic messaging and public relations is needed to enhance India’s international image.
  • Politics and bilateral ties influence international reactions to targeted killings.
  • Allegations may impact India-U.S. ties but broader strategic interests will likely prevail.
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