The US Government claims it’s keeping Americans safe by using drones, air strikes and Special Forces operations to kill people it calls “militants” or “terrorists” around the world. But in the process it is killing thousands of civilians, usually without explanation or an effort to compensate survivors or their families for their devastating losses.
The US Government claims to investigate civilian killings caused by its military actions, but it also seems to assume that the people killed are “militants” or “terrorists” when they are actually civilians.
Under international law, the US Government in an armed conflict may only kill members of enemy armed forces. If it’s not clear whether certain individuals are members of the enemy armed force, then the government must presume they are civilians. And outside of an armed conflict zone, everyone is a civilian: the government can only kill individuals who pose an imminent threat to human life.