ATbar When Theory Meets Practice: Proportionality in Targeted Killings

When Theory Meets Practice: Proportionality in Targeted Killings

07/02/2018 | by Multiple Authors  


Targeted killing is a prominent, yet highly controversial tactic used by nation states in modern warfare against terrorism.

In his book "Global Alert", published in 2015, Professor Boaz Ganor introduced the "proportionality equation", which surgically analyzes the different segments of the targeted killing methodology, in order to empirically determine how much collateral damage can be unintentionally inflicted before an action will be considered excessive and thus unauthorized.

This article argues that although the proportionality equation impressively adheres to the International Humanitarian Law, it must be equipped with a strategic variable in order to properly address the strategic gains and losses of an attack, which, if accounted, may very well determine the operation’s authorization. Three case studies were chosen, all from the Israeli – Palestinian conflict between the years 2000-2004, to emphasize the pivotal role of the strategic factor for the decision maker.


**The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).

Download Full Publication Download