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Is Preemptive Assassination the New Trump Doctrine?

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  • Is Preemptive Assassination the New Trump Doctrine?

    Is Preemptive Assassination the New Trump Doctrine?

    Was Qassem Suleimani’s killing lawful? And why does it matter?

    The episode raises intertwined questions of law, process, and policy. The Trump administration’s case for assassinating Iran’s top general last week in Baghdad is being hotly debated by the U.S. Congress, where the House just passed a war powers resolution aimed at restraining the president’s military action against Iran. While the facts are still emerging, most indications suggest that the strike was illegal. U.S. officials had no business putting this illegal option on President Donald Trump’s desk, even as an “extreme option” they expected the president would reject. The decision-making process was abysmal and ensured that the legal issues would not be properly vetted and that Congress would be denied its statutory and constitutional role.

    As a matter of policy, Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that Iran, having responded, is now “standing down” hardly vindicates his reckless action. Assassinating state leaders, provoking retaliation, then narrowly averting needless open warfare is not strategic success. This is especially true when the episode leaves Iran policy in a far worse place than it was five years ago, when the previous administration negotiated a suspension of Iran’s nuclear program. Most important, by using assassination as a tool of preemptive self-defense, the Suleimani strike raises the haunting question whether Trump has resurrected the very doctrine that many thought had been wholly discredited by the disaster in Iraq.

    Under current law, Trump had no business ordering the killing of one of the highest-ranking military leaders of a foreign state with which the United States was not at war. Before the strike, the United States had not engaged in armed conflict with Iran as a matter of international law. Nor can it be plausibly argued that Congress authorized the strike under a 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was designed to authorize force to defend “against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” when the long-departed Saddam Hussein was Iraq’s president.

    Suleimani undeniably orchestrated numerous proxy and terrorist strikes over many years. But unlike Osama bin Laden, who headed a nonstate terrorist group, Suleimani was de facto the second-highest-ranking official of a sovereign state. Like Adm. Yamamoto Isoroku, a Japanese military champion of the Pearl Harbor attack, Suleimani should only have been targeted as part of an ongoing armed conflict with Iran. If killing him was an intentional decapitation strike, it was tantamount to declaring war on Iran, which under the U.S. Constitution’s “declare War” clause required congressional consultation and participation. And if his premeditated killing was simply to eliminate him, not a necessary and proportionate response to address the imminent threat of attack by Iran, it was an assassination without legal basis, forbidden by a 43-year-old Ford administration executive order.
    Last edited by W*GS; 01-10-2020, 05:17 PM.

  • #2
    It's a rather lengthy article, and makes persuasive arguments.

    Not that trump cultists and their apologists like Beav give a **** about niceties like our law, international law, and treaties we've signed.

    America First really means **** the Rest of the World.

    Really bad policy to have when we need as much help as we can to challenge China and it's model of authoritarianism married to capitalism.

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    • #3
      To have a doctrine, you need a strategic plan and polices. Trump wanders from one decision to the next with no singular pattern of behavior.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by elsid13 View Post
        To have a doctrine, you need a strategic plan and polices. Trump wanders from one decision to the next with no singular pattern of behavior.
        Good point.

        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          Note that TJ and poor wee naif LINO bong boy have stayed far away.

          Too much expertise and serious thinking involved.

          Much better to goof off, gloat, and bait the anti-trump folks.

          Adult debate on a complex and critical subject just isn't possible with the rot TJ has let run rampant here.

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          • #6
            What is there to stay away from?

            They killed an American translator, injured 4 troops, then attacked our embassy. There is no "preemptive assassination" its literally a retaliatory strike.

            I would have liked Congress to be informed, but it doesn't matter much to me when you got Hamas sympathizers like Omar, Tlaib, etc in there. I wouldn't tell them a thing either. It would be leaked to our enemies. Guaranteed.

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            • #7
              Read.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by W*GS View Post
                Read.
                I did. And by letter of the law and pretending the last 8 years of the previous admin dont exist, you may have a point. i read up on the NDAA when Obama resigned it. Did you?
                Last edited by ShaneFalco; 01-13-2020, 05:03 PM.

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                • #9
                  Also WGS i think you are little bit late. A few years late. Obama ordered over 542 drone strikes without approval from Congress and killed an estimated 3797 people, including 324 civilians. Trump ordered one drone strike and killed the person responsible for over 650 American deaths.

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                  • #10
                    Read the article, please.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by W*GS View Post
                      Read the article, please.
                      i did. And the author pretends that the US cant defend itself.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ShaneSpicoli
                        Also WGS i think you are little bit late. A few years late. Obama ordered over 542 drone strikes without approval from Congress and killed an estimated 3797 people, including 324 civilians. Trump ordered one drone strike and killed the person responsible for over 650 American deaths.

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                        • #13
                          See US embassy's are no different then American soil. So if a group attacks one under leadership from one said general, it would be as if our own country was attacked on our soil.

                          Which means, anything goes in terms of a response.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

                            They just cheered Trump at the College Football Championship game.

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                            • #15
                              ****stanefalco. International legal expert

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