Washington Post Praises Harold Koh Statement on Drones
The Washington Post editorializes today in praise of Legal Adviser Koh’s statement on drones in his speech to ASIL on March 25. It specifically focused on the self-defense distinction in the statement:
Mr. Koh’s reaffirmation of the right to self-defense — even outside the confines of an existing armed conflict — is particularly important. The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) after Sept. 11, 2001, empowered the president to pursue those responsible for the attacks, including al-Qaeda and the Taliban. That authority may wane with time. But the right of self-defense is inherent and may be exercised against current and future enemies that pose an imminent threat, including those operating outside of traditional combat zones.
The Wall Street Journal also praised the speech – or at least the drone warfare part of it – in an editorial a week or so ago. (Unless I missed something, I don’t believe the NYT has weighed in editorially on this issue.) The WSJ’s news story on the speech, by Keith Johnson, is here; it has a nice roundup of expert opinion, including Mary Ellen O’Connell, the ACLU’s Jonathan Manes, CFR’s Brett McGurk, and me.