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SPECIAL REPORT

Small Arms Technology For Close Quarters Battle

CQB Weapons for Present and Future Military and Law Enforcement Operations “Shooting to Live”: the Purpose of the Pistol “Targeted Killings” a Special Type of Close Quarters Combat Inter arma silent leges: In Time of War the Law is Silent

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Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

SPECIAL REPORT

Small Arms Technology For Close Quarters Battle

Contents

CQB Weapons for Present and Future Military and Law Enforcement Operations “Shooting to Live”: the Purpose of the Pistol “Targeted Killings” a Special Type of Close Quarters Combat Inter arma silent leges: In Time of War the Law is Silent

Foreword

2

Mary Dub, Editor

CQB Weapons for Present and Future Military and Law Enforcement Operations

3

David Crane, Owner/Editor-in-Chief, DefenseReview.com (DR)

The Submachine Gun – Once a Weapon of Choice

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Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

The Movement Towards SBRs Over-Penetration – What’s Behind the Target? The KRISS Vector SMG .45ACP A Weapon for Both Military and Domestic Law Enforcement Use SMGs Still Have a Part to Play

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Gun Design/Functions vs. Combat Tactics

Publisher Kevin Bell

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies

“Shooting to Live”: the Purpose of the Pistol

7

The Overwhelming Need for Speed Accuracy and Precision

“Targeted Killings” a Special Type of Close Quarters Combat

9

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes The Importance of ‘War’

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Inter arma silent leges: In Time of War the Law is Silent

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Unmanned Drones Used for Targeted Killings Not Guns

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References

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The Death of Salah Shehada The Medium Term Real Impact of the Killing – Negative Creating Martyrs and Justifying Political Legitimacy The Consequences of Lack of Precision “Targeted Killing Operations Display the Tension Between Addressing Terrorism as a Crime and Addressing it as War”

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SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

Foreword

T

he choice of weapon and indeed

the target. A solution is the KRISS Vector SMG which

firearm, in an operation is a critical

has maximum full-auto controllability and minimum

decision. The qualities of the weapon, its

over-penetration risk. In the second piece, the clarity of analysis offered

speed, ease of operation, length of barrel,

by two of the earliest codifiers of the use of the pistol,

its caliber, its lethality or stopping power

Fairbairn and Sykes, is examined. Their work, which

all have important consequences for its

still has value today, transfers the years of experience

performance. The circumstances of its

in the close and crowded streets of Shanghai with

use are also important: shooting from a vehicle requires capabilities unwanted

the Shanghai Military Police to today’s warriors on operation in the villages and towns of the Middle East and South Asia. Their emphasis on speed, precision

from shooting dismounted on patrol.

and instinctive targeting as the bullets fly will have

Similarly shooting in an urban context

resonance to those in close quarters combat in the

among buildings or crowded market places requires different weapon specifications.

21st century. Two recent important examples of the use of handguns in counter terrorist/counter insurgency

The focus of this Special Report is on close

operations are looked at in the third section of the

quarters combat, a critical skill for a soldier

Report. These examples illustrate the overwhelming

or member of the Special Forces.

importance of the way the weapon is used and the

The Report opens with an article that reviews close quarters battle/close quarters combat (CQB/CQC) weapons for use in military and law enforcement operations, both now and in the future, and looks at the comparative features of the submachine gun (SMG) and the short barreled rifle (SBR). It describes how, following two high profile events, the SBR replaced the SMG as the weapon of choice in CQB/ CQC situations. This was largely brought about due

consequences of mishandling close quarters combat for mitigating the value of the operation. The final piece looks at the use of targeted killings, the phrase used to describe ‘extra judicial executions’ or assassinations. The legal debate about how these killings can be justified has not changed the perception of the value of targeted killings in current counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

to the limited range of the SMG. However, SBRs bring other problems, including over-penetration, with the danger of causing injury or death to those behind

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager. Focused by a Masters in War Studies from King’s College, London, she annotates and highlights the interplay of armies, governments and industry.

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SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

CQB Weapons for Present and Future Military and Law Enforcement Operations David Crane, Owner/Editor-in-Chief, DefenseReview.com (DR)

O

VER THE last 10-20 years in the United States, there’s been a real doctrinal shift in both the military Special Operations and law enforcement SWAT communities from pistol-caliber submachine guns (SMGs) to rifle caliber short barreled rifles (SBRs)/ sub-carbines for close quarters battle/close quarters combat (CQB/CQC) missions, including direct action (DA) missions. This can arguably be traced back to two pivotal events, appropriately, one military Special Operations, and the other law enforcement: U.S. Army Delta Force/Combat Applications Group’s (CAG) and U.S. Army Rangers’ 1993 “Black Hawk Down” (BHD) snatch n’ grab DA operation in Mogadishu, Somalia and the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) 1997 North Hollywood Bank of America Shootout situation. In the BHD op, CAG had to fight their way all of the way out of that city in an allout “balls-to-the-wall” urban warfare running firefight against (primarily) Kalashnikov AK-47/ AKM assault rifle-armed enemy combatants. In Bank of America shootout, police were initially outgunned against two bank robbers armed with both assault rifles (7.62x39mm Russian) and battle rifles (7.62x51mm NATO). LAPD SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) operators were finally able to put an end to the conflict using their own assault rifles. Fortunately, in both scenarios, the bad guys weren’t highly-skilled shooters or fighters.

The Submachine Gun – Once a Weapon of Choice Before these two respective events led to the ascendance and preeminence of select-fire AR (AR-15) SBRs like the Mk18 Mod 1 and Heckler & Koch HK416, the HK MP5 9mm Parabellum/9x19mm NATO submachine gun (SMG) reigned supreme as the CQB/CQC weapon of choice for both military and LE operators, and for good reason. The closedbolt, select-fire MP5 SMG is reliable, accurate and durable. It’s also controllable on full-auto, so a Mil/LE assaulter can use full-auto bursts effectively to “drive the target down”. As if that’s

not enough, the British Special Air Service’s (SAS) 1980 “Princes Gate” Iranian Embassy siege/DA mission (structural assault/raid) turned the ubiquitous MP5 into a bona fide celebrity tactical small arm. The SAS assaulters used it with great efficiency to permanently dispatch all but one terrorist (who survived by hiding among the hostages) with minimal collateral damage. Everyone and their mother now wanted to use the Hereford boys’ favorite weapon. And why should they? It worked, and worked well. However, one of the problems with the HK MP5 (or frankly any submachine gun, for that matter) from a military combat standpoint is its limited effective range of approximately 100 yards. Even though a good shooter can potentially engage targets out to 150 yards, depending on the quality of the optic and the shooter’s skill level, it still can’t match the 5.56mm NATO’s (5.56x45mm NATO) engagement envelope.

Vehicle operation with CQB Submachine gun

Effective military use of subguns is further exacerbated by misinterpreted and misapplied Hague Convention rules against using hollowpoint ammunition in military environments—even against terrorists not fighting in uniform or under a nation’s flag--which reduces 9mm terminal ballistics. U.S. military Special Operations Forces (SOF) conducting operations in urban warfare environments often have to fight their way to and from the target structure. So, the longer the range at which SOF operators can engage the enemy during both entry and exfil, the better. A military spec-operator conducting a DA mission inside a structure may have to engage targets out to medium distance as soon as he steps foot back WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

One of the problems with the HK MP5 (or frankly any submachine gun, for that matter) from a military combat standpoint is its limited effective range of approximately 100 yards.

outside. A more recent issue regarding SMGs for both military and law enforcement applications is the increased use of anti-rifle hard armor plates over the last few years by both enemy combatants in military combat environments and criminals in domestic law enforcement tactical environments. Even non-body armor-wearing enemy insurgents will often wear “third-world body armor” comprised of AK mags (magazines) worn in chest rigs, which can be more problematic for pistol caliber weapons to penetrate than rifle caliber weapons.

The Movement Towards SBRs In the “CQB Weapons” episode of “Ultimate Weapons” on The Military Channel, I stated that rifle rounds can punch through the bad guys’ body armor and hit them with more kinetic energy than a submachine gun-fired pistol round. With a 5.56mm SBR, you just have to keep shooting at the target’s body armor until penetration is achieved, or you can just walk the rounds up into the neck and face or aim for the pelvic girdle and legs to structurally dismantle the opponent. If you’ve got AP (Armor Piercing/ Armor Penetrating) rounds like the M995 round, you can potentially punch through an NIJ Level IV hard armor plate with one shot. In any case, this engagement range/armor penetration/kinetic energy advantage is why U.S. military SOF has gravitated towards 5.56mm carbines and SBRs, and U.S. law enforcement has followed the military’s lead. In general, what U.S. military Special Operations does, U.S. law enforcement SWAT now follows. It used to be the other way around, but no longer. So, what is the 5.56mm’s range? 14.5-16” 5.56 carbines are pretty effective out to approx. 300400 meters, and even potentially out to 500-600 meters for good shooters with 62gr M855 ball (Green Tip) up to 77gr Mk262 Mod 1 ammo. However, a 10.5”-barreled HK416 SBR isn’t going to be able to reach out (effectively) quite as far. For direct action (DA) missions or any other martial application involving dynamic CQB/CQC in and around structures, though, 14.5-16” carbinelength barrels aren’t optimum. They’re too long. Direct action and CQB are SBR territory, except at close range, the 5.56mm hasn’t proven as effective as the U.S. military would like. U.S. SOF operators are trained to put 2-5 rounds into the target to put it down. However, in actual combat, it’s taking on average about 6 rounds to put the bad guys down, and sometimes as many as 9 rounds to do it. Delta/CAG and U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG)/DEVGRU (SEAL Team Six) assaulters can do it in 2-4 rounds on average. But the world doesn’t revolve around CAG and DEVGRU, and the fact is SOF operators don’t get to put as many rounds down range in

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training every day per capita as the members of those two units. What they don’t tell you is that in a dynamic CQB environment, nobody really feels the first 2-3 5.56mm rounds that hit them. If they’re armed, they’ll just keep shooting at you or running away from you if they can. SOF operators will therefore keep shooting into the upper torso and “drive the target down”, often instinctively walking the rounds up into the targets neck and face/head to get the desired result: neutralization. Get the “Mozambique technique” of “two shots to the body, one shot to the head” out of your head. You’re not going to be able to do it effectively in combat. It’s simply too hard to accomplish the ol’ two-one while people are shooting back at you and/or moving around quickly.

Over-Penetration – What’s Behind the Target? The reason it takes so many rounds of 5.56mm is that it’s a small, sharp-pointed round that hits the target like an ice pick, punching small holes in the target and often flying right out the back without yawing or going frangible, which is necessary for the 5.56 to deliver anything close to its full energy to the target. This fact was first made obvious by “the Unit’s” (Delta/CAG) experience against Khat-crazed “Skinnies” in Mogadishu. This overpenetration capability forces both military and law enforcement operators to be cognizant of what’s behind the target they’re shooting into at close range. M855 and Mk262 rounds’ can go right through the target’s body and injure or kill their team members or non-combatants behind them. The same thing obviously goes for the 6.8x43mm SPC and new 300 AAC Blackout (300BLK / 7.62x35mm) round, both of which carry even more kinetic energy out of short SBR barrels than the 5.56mm round, particularly at close range, and also can over-penetrate the target. While the 6.8 SPC offers superior terminal ballistics and hard-target penetration capability over the 5.56mm, it also generates more felt recoil and muzzle blast/noise. Believe it or not, the 6.8 SPC’s increased noise level over the 5.56mm is a turn-off for some SOF operators. Some also don’t like the 6.8’s increased ammo weight and mag-capacity hit of 25 rounds vs. the 5.56mm mag’s 30 rounds.

The KRISS Vector SMG .45ACP If a high-degree of “knock-down” power combined with minimum over-penetration risk and maximum full-auto controllability in DA/CQB environments is the goal, a .45 ACP submachine gun like the KRISS Vector SMG is the solution. Unlike the high-kinetic-energy but ice-pick-like 5.56mm, the .45 ACP round hits more like a big, heavy rock. It’s a very efficient round impact-wise,


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

Entry with compact .45ACP SMG

due to its relatively low velocity combined with its large surface area. The .45 ACP is a proven closerange man stopper, particularly in the full-auto bursts at which the submachine gun excels. One of my U.S. military SOF contacts (and a source for this piece) recently told me that you can “drive a target down” with 2-3 rounds of .45 ACP from an SMG (semi-auto string or full-auto burst). Unlike SBRs, submachine guns are purposebuilt for controllable/precision full-auto fire. This is particularly true with the KRISS Vector SMG .45 ACP with its patented Super-V operating mechanism that was purposedesigned to attenuate/mitigate the weapon’s felt recoil and muzzle rise. Current U.S. military SOF doctrine for gunfighting with carbines and SBRs still dictates semi-auto fire only, since they believe that this is still the only way to achieve fast surgical accuracy, i.e. consistent hits on targets, in CQB scenarios. Most SOF operators simply don’t know what it’s like to have a truly full-auto-controllable SBR that’s capable of surgically precise bursts, so their training doctrine reflects that. It’s also important to understand that unlike during the World War II days, all SOF DA/CQB doctrine is based on the British SAS’ hostage rescue doctrine of stacking, room clearing and precision shooting. Current SOF assaulters don’t train to throw grenades in first and then spray the occupants with full-auto fire like WWII infantrymen did. (Author’s Note: Speaking of WWII and SMGs, the Thompson .45 ACP submachine gun was an intimidating weapon that used to scare the absolute hell out of the enemy. Just the sound of it terrified the Germans. A weapon’s intimidation factor shouldn’t be discounted, as psychological intimidation is an important aspect of any type of martial combat, including warfare.)

KRISS Vector recoil mitigation system

A Weapon for Both Military and Domestic Law Enforcement Use In both military and law enforcement CQB/ CQC scenarios, the majority of adversaries still aren’t wearing any type of body armor, so armor penetration shouldn’t usually be an issue. Even if they are wearing it, the SMG shooter can again walk the rounds up into the neck and face/head, or aim for the opponent’s pelvis and legs. And, let’s not forget that on their way into the armor, WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

A full-auto controllable, high-cyclic-rate .45 ACP SMG like the KRISS Vector gives the operator hard-hitting/limitedpenetration surgical fullauto capability with real knock-down power for

the .45ACP rounds are likely to encounter the shooter’s hands arms and/or weapon, and the rounds that hit the armor will be doing so with their full force and dumping all their energy in the process. So, it’s not like they’re not going to have any effect whatsoever on an armored opponent before the operator walks the rounds up into his face. For domestic law enforcement active-shooter/ counterterrorism scenarios which are likely to increase in the U.S. and around the world in the future, the .45ACP’s limited penetration and range become advantageous, since the goal is to neutralize the threat while minimizing collateral damage. While law enforcement doesn’t have to worry about Hague, and can therefore minimize the threat of 5.56mm over-penetration by using hollowpoint 5.56mm ammo, if they miss the target, the round can travel pretty far in a flat trajectory and hit an innocent bystander. If they miss with a .45ACP weapon, the round will travel less distance and is therefore less likely to injure or kill the wrong person.

CQB/CQC applications

KRISS Vector SMG .45ACP with accessories

SMGs Still Have a Part to Play Bottom line, .45 ACP SMGs are still viable weapons platforms for certain mission-specific applications inside urban warfare environments, even though AR SBRs are now de rigueur for U.S. military SOF and law enforcement SWAT. It’s important to note that the bulk of engagements in military urban warfare environments and LE SWAT environments still occur inside 100 meters, which is within the SMGs effective combat envelope. Understand that I’m not recommending that .45 ACP SMGs like the KRISS Vector and HK UMP replace AR SBRs, but they’re certainly a viable option/addition to the DA/CQB/CQC infantry small arms and law enforcement tactical

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weapons buffet carried and utilized by an SOF squad or general infantry squad or LE SWAT team. If you have 12 men on a team, for example, 2-3 of them being armed with .45 ACP SMGs is an idea worth exploring. In my opinion, to maximize the .45ACP SMG’s military Special Operations and LE SWAT combat efficacy, SMG-specific training and combat doctrine should be developed and provided SOF-wide, and special high-velocity .45 ACP ammo should be designed and developed for weapons like the KRISS Vector submachine guns to optimize their terminal ballistic capabilities, including NIJ Level IIIA body armordefeating rounds.

Gun Design/Functions vs. Combat Tactics Which brings me to my final discussion point: gun design/functions vs. combat tactics. Current military and law enforcement based around the firearm. Some believe that in the future, it should be done the other way around, that the gun should be designed for a specific combat application (e.g. CQB/CQC), and tactical doctrine should be derived from the resulting weapons design. A full-auto controllable, highcyclic-rate .45 ACP SMG like the KRISS Vector gives the operator hard-hitting/limited-penetration surgical full-auto capability with real knockdown power for CQB/CQC applications, and specific training and operational doctrines can therefore be developed around it that optimize both operator’s and weapon’s mission-specific combat efficacy. Contact details: Author David Crane DefenseReview.com Email: defrev@gmail.com Web: www.defensereview.com Sponsor KRISS Systems SA Ch. de la Vuarpillière 35, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland Tel: +41 22 363 78 20 Fax: +41 22 363 78 21 Email: marketing@kriss-arms.com Web: www.kriss-arms.com


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

“Shooting to Live”: the Purpose of the Pistol Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“Assassination, poison, perjury… All these were considered legitimate principles in the dark ages which intervened between ancient and modern civilizations, but exploded and held in just horror in the 18thCentury” Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States and one of the Founding Fathers.1

C

LOSE QUARTERS Combat (CQC) is part of the basic training of every soldier. It includes fighting hand to hand and with weapons: guns, sticks, knives and the bayonet - and the lethality of small arms fire should not be underestimated. In the last 18 days of this month in 2011, nine ISAF soldiers died in Afghanistan as a result of small arms fire, compared to 22 who died from IEDs, 5 from suicide bombs and 3 from RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades). This illustrates that death from small arms fire is still a high risk for today’s ISAF soldier on operations, so basic training in close quarters combat including a central element of small arms training is compulsory for every soldier.2 For example, in the UK, soldiers attached to Reme (the Royal School of Mechanical Engineers) all have to learn BCCS (Basic Close Combat Skills) as part of their Phase 1 training and these are also a part of the Military Annual Training Tests (MATT).3 Historically, there are many ancient styles of CQC fighting, but many consider Captain William

Ewart Fairbairn, Assistant Commissioner of the Shanghai Military Police (‘SMP’) and Captain Eric Anthony Sykes, Officer in Charge of the Snipers Unit of the SMP, as the first to codify the principles of the use of the pistol in CQC from their experiences as part of the SMP in 1942. Fairbairn and Sykes codification of techniques learned from street fighting in Shanghai are still studied by new generations of British Marines and some Special Forces. Their book “Shooting to Live” codifies the practice of pistol use to survive in a street fight, now called in NATO terminology military operations on urban terrain (MOUT).

The Overwhelming Need for Speed “Shooting to Live” with the one-hand gun as Captain Fairbairn and Captain Sykes advocated, require an austere and rigorous training system based on three essential principles which are still valid today. “ 1. Extreme speed, both in drawing and firing. 2. Instinctive, as opposed to deliberate aim. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

“The average shooting affray is a matter of split seconds. If you take much longer than a third of a second to fire your first shot, you will not be the one to tell the newspapers about it. It is literally a matter of the quick and the dead”.

3. Practice under circumstances which approximate as near as possible to fighting conditions.” They do not underestimate the importance of the first quality, speed. “The average shooting affray is a matter of split seconds. If you take much longer than a third of a second to fire your first shot, you will not be the one to tell the newspapers about it. It is literally a matter of the quick and the dead”.4 They are equally direct on the importance of instinctive aiming rather than reliance on any other training or sights: “Instinctive aiming… is an entirely logical consequence of the extreme speed… there is no time to put yourself in to some special stance or to align the sights of the pistol. If reliance on these aids has become habitual, so much the worse for you, if you are shooting to live”. They did not believe in wasting time on pistol target practice, because of the difference between shooting in the heat of the moment on operations and the practice situation. “You will be keyed-up to the highest pitch and will be grasping your pistol with almost convulsive force. If you have to fire, your instinct will be to do so as quickly as possible, and you will probably do it with a bent arm, possibly even from the level of the hip. The whole affair may take place in a bad light or no light at all, and that is precisely the

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moment, when the policeman, at any rate, is most likely to meet trouble since darkness favours the activities of the criminal. It may be that a bullet whizzes past you and that you experience the momentary stupefaction which is due to the shock of the explosion at very short range of the shot just fired by your opponent – a very different feeling from that experienced of standing behind or alongside a pistol being fired.”5

Accuracy and Precision Fairbairn emphasizes the importance of a short barrelled, automatic weapon with low levels of recoil to allow for greater accuracy of the second shot. He contrasts the speed of the first shot with a revolver and the subsequent speed of the second and third shots with an automatic weapon. His book includes a debate about stopping power, lethality and calibre. He believes in a heavier calibre Colt 0.45 because of the ease of the draw of a short-barrelled weapon and the added stopping power and lethality of the higher calibre at short range. Not all close quarters combat is with pistols; knives, bayonets, carbines and submachine guns are also used. But many of the same essential principles are valid. Fairbairn developed a fighting knife the smatchet, which was adapted by many Special Forces and is still in use today.


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

“Targeted Killings” a Special Type of Close Quarters Combat Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

“The proportionality doctrine of international law supports a conclusion that it is wrong to allow the slaughter of 10,000 relatively innocent soldiers and civilians if the underlying aggression can be brought to an end by the elimination of one guilty individual.” Thomas C. Wingfield6

M

ANY INTERNATIONAL and human rights lawyers and advocates would see this quotation as debatable. Yet targeted killing by the police or the army or Special Forces or the CIA has taken place for generations and is still used today. How is targeted killing defined in law? Nils Melzer offers a frequently quoted definition: “The term ‘targeted killing’ denotes the use of lethal force attributable to a subject of international law with the intent, premeditation and deliberation to kill individually selected persons who are not in the physical custody of those targeting them.”7 What is changing, are the methods used and the arguments used to justify the killing. The most recent salient example of targeted killing abroad was the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan on 2 May 2011 by approximately 79 (the BBC reports 23) US Navy Seals (Team 6 Unit). He was unarmed and shot in the head and chest at close quarters

in a darkened room in his compound, after a calculated decision not to apprehend him, as the likelihood of a fair trial in the United States or elsewhere was considered by President Obama to be impossible. Information on the weapon used has not been released. It was reported that the Navy Seals were concerned that the guards around Bin Laden might use suicide belts or other explosives. The raid on the compound was completed in 40 minutes despite problems with one of the two Black Hawk helicopters that were used.

The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes A second example is the shooting of the unarmed Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes in an underground train carriage at Stockwell Underground Station on July 22 2005. De Menezes was shot by British Metropolitan police officers 15 days after 7 July (7/7) when WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

In Europe, many influential figures voiced their disquiet about the morality of an assassination without due process of law, in another country.

Al Qaeda inspired terrorists exploded bombs in four places on the London Underground and bus network killing 52 and injuring 700. There was a failed attempt to repeat a similar bombing on 21 July, the day before the shooting of de Menezes. The Metropolitan Police Specialist Firearms Command, were on high alert to avoid similar incidents and had followed de Menezes to the tube station after his identity had been confused with another person. What actually happened in Stockwell Tube station that day has been disputed. The inquest jury found that the police officer C12 did not shout “armed police” before shooting him dead to stop him, in the police’s view, from potentially blowing up the train. However, the outcome was the killing of an unarmed victim of mistaken identity in an attempt to protect the British travelling public from what was feared to be another potential suicide bombing.

The Importance of ‘War’ These two examples, taking place in different countries, Pakistan and London, have been chosen to illustrate the complexity of the debate about targeted killings and its direct relevance to soldiers, Special Forces and police officers carrying firearms. The unifying theme is that the soldiers and police are both involved in counter terrorist/counter insurgency operations which are being fought against a non-state actor, a self-defined group of insurgents at a time when ‘war’ has not been declared in any conventional sense but

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the violence and intensity of the conflict and the number of non-combatants and soldiers dead leads to the need to take vigorous and determined action to suppress those leading or perpetrating the violence. President Obama’s action was seen in the United States as justified given the enormity of the scale of the 9/11 bombings for which Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility. Although others in America argue that his decision as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to take out Osama bin Laden owed more to President Obama’s need to be seen by his political opponents on the right in the United States as a President capable of taking “strong” decisions to protect the national security of the United States. In Europe, many influential figures voiced their disquiet about the morality of an assassination without due process of law, in another country. In South Asia and Pakistan there were riots against the United States and strongly voiced complaints about the invasion of Pakistan’s sovereignty by the United States Special Forces. In London, after the shooting of de Menezes, there was a voluble debate about the killing of an unarmed civilian at a time of tension due to the recent 7/7 attacks. At the inquest years after the de Menezes shooting, the jury returned an “open verdict”, the most critical against the police available to them. The jury disputed the legality of the police action and the management of the police rules of engagement was challenged, as was their presentation of the circumstances of the case.


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

Inter arma silent leges: In Time of War the Law is Silent Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

“One hopes each time you get a success like that, not only to have gotten rid of somebody dangerous, but to have imposed changes on their tactics and operations.” Paul Wolfowicz8

I

N THE cases of the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, in London, the weapon used was a gun shot at close quarters with little collateral damage to surrounding people and innocent civilians. While there was some risk to the Navy Seals in Abbottabad and to the police officers in Stockwell Underground Station, this was mitigated. The risk to surrounding non-combatant civilians was high. In operations, there is strong moral and political pressure for precision and not to kill or injure unarmed innocent civilians in the process of taking out targeted individuals. There is a similar pressure not to endanger the lives of the soldiers, police or Special Forces. As a result of both these factors, unmanned weapons, missiles from aircraft or drones are sometimes preferred to soldiers or Special Forces with guns. However, the choice is not clear-cut, because the consequence of injuring

civilians can exact a higher political price than the value of the outcome of the targeted killing.

The Death of Salah Shehada This is demonstrated by the debate in Israel about the killing of the Hamas leader, Salah Shehada. This incident illustrates clearly that the weapon chosen and the way a targeted killing is carried out, impacts very heavily on the long term strategic “success” of the action. “Salah Shehada lived a violent life. During his last two years, the senior Hamas leader directed up to 52 terrorist operations against Israel, killing 220 civilians and 16 soldiers. And on July 22, 2002, Shehada died a violent death: an Israeli F-16 dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on his apartment building, obliterating it with him inside. Before deciding to kill Shehada, Israeli officials had first gone to the Palestinian Authority and repeatedly demanded his arrest. When the PA refused, the Israeli government then sought to apprehend WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

An assumption that underpins a targeted killing of a known effective leader is that his removal will reduce the effectiveness of the insurgent group that he has been supporting.

him directly. But they gave up after realizing that Shehada lived in the middle of Gaza City and that any attempt to grab him would probably spark a general melee. It was then that the Israelis decided to kill Shehada. But things still remained complicated; according to Moshe Yaalon, then the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Israel had to call off its first eight attempts because Shehada was always accompanied by his daughter. Only when Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, learned that he would be in an apartment building with no innocents nearby did the operation proceed. But the intelligence turned out to be incomplete: Shehada had his daughter with him after all, and the buildings surrounding his own were occupied. When the massive bomb demolished the target, it also damaged several of these other buildings. Shehada was killed—but so were at least 14 civilians, including his daughter and eight other children.” 9

The Medium Term Real Impact of the Killing – Negative Taking out Shehada may have had a military impact on Hamas, weakening the organisation, but the political impact was entirely negative. “The reaction to the attack was overwhelmingly negative. Hamas called it a massacre and said it would fight until “Jews see their own body parts in every restaurant, every park, every bus and every street.” Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians turned out to mourn the victims. World leaders condemned the attack, and even the Bush administration called it “heavy-handed.”10

Unmanned Drones Used for Targeted Killings Not Guns Such are the dilemmas of a liberal democracy that despite Bush’s criticism of Israel’s action, it has also adopted the policy of targeted killing and has used both bombs and armed drones to carry out such killings. “Despite these concerns, Israel’s largest ally – the United States – seems to have adopted the policy in recent years. In January, the U.S. government tried to kill al Qaeda’s second-incommand, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Pakistan, and last December, Washington took out Hamza Rabia, an al Qaeda operative, with a missile fired from an unmanned Predator aircraft. Perhaps because these and other such U.S. attacks took place in the developing world and with little fanfare, they have not yet provoked much controversy.” An assumption that underpins a targeted killing of a known effective leader is that his

12 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

removal will reduce the effectiveness of the insurgent group that he has been supporting. The remaining leaders may be younger, less trained and have to spend more time in hiding and moving from house to house to retain security of their organisation. “Contrary to popular myth, the number of skilled terrorists is quite limited. Bomb makers, terrorism trainers, forgers, recruiters, and terrorist leaders are scarce; they need many months, if not years, to gain enough expertise to be effective. When these individuals are arrested or killed, their organizations are disrupted. The groups may still be able to attract recruits, but lacking expertise, these new recruits will not pose the same kind of threat.”11

Creating Martyrs and Justifying Political Legitimacy But some authorities argue that targeted killings in some areas of the Middle East have been counter productive: “Even when they are effective, targeted killings can create strategic complications. They create martyrs that help a group sell itself to its own community. Hezbollah now venerates figures such as Musawi and uses them to rally the faithful and demonstrate the group’s commitment to fighting Israel. And Khaled Hroub, a Cambridge University– based expert on Hamas, argues that Israeli counterterrorism measures, including targeted killings, have only increased the movement’s popular legitimacy.”12

The Consequences of Lack of Precision Most importantly, whether a targeted killing is precise and takes out only the targeted individual or not, the international reaction to the killing has a number of important long-term consequences. The United States, Israel and European countries depend on a daily basis on the cooperation and goodwill of international partners to pursue their counter terrorist policies. If their targeted killings are carried out in such a way as to horrify the international community and to undermine the rule of law, they can, in the long term, be highly counterproductive. “But even there the United States must consider the goodwill of its allies more than Israel does. International condemnation of U.S. actions directly affects U.S. counterterrorism efforts, since much of Washington’s “war on terrorism” is waged with or in cooperation with other countries’ police and security services. The capture of Khalid Sheik Mohammad (one of the masterminds of the


SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

9/11 attacks) involved the intense cooperation of the security services of Germany, Pakistan, and Switzerland. A decision by Germany, Malaysia, Morocco, or other states with a major jihadist presence to stop actively cooperating with Washington could be devastating. Israel may not care what other countries think; in this effort, at least, the United States has to.” Targeted killings and the way they are carried out is a new and developing area of both international law and United States law as Blum and Haymann point out in the Harvard National Security Journal. They argue that the ambiguities around the state of war or otherwise in a counter terrorist campaign make clarity in this area difficult.

targeted killing operations

“Targeted Killing Operations Display the Tension Between Addressing Terrorism as a Crime and Addressing it as War”

terrorism as a crime and

“More than any other counterterrorism tactic, targeted killing operations display the tension between addressing terrorism as a crime and addressing it as war. The right of a government to use deadly force against a citizen is constrained by both domestic criminal law and international human rights norms that seek to protect the individual’s right to life and liberty. In law enforcement, individuals are punished for their individual guilt. Guilt must be proven in a court of law, with the individual facing trial enjoying the protections of due process guarantees. Killing an individual without trial is allowed only in very limited circumstances, such as self-defense (where the person poses an immediate threat) or the immediate necessity of saving more lives. In almost any other case, it would be clearly unlawful, tantamount to extrajudicial execution or murder.” 13 As Blum and Heymann argue, to continue to use targeted killings however well carried out without collateral damage or the death of civilians, there needs to be a more transparent policy. “To make this tactic acceptable to other nations, targeted killings must be justified and accounted for under a set of norms that may not correspond perfectly to either peacetime or wartime paradigms, but is nonetheless respectful of the values and considerations espoused by both.”14 As is clear from the way targeted killings have continued in Afghanistan and the Middle East: “Using the war paradigm for counterterrorism enabled government lawyers to distinguish lethal attacks on terrorists from prohibited assassinations and justify them as lawful battlefield operations against enemy combatants.”

“More than any other counterterrorism tactic,

display the tension between addressing

addressing it as war.

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SPECIAL REPORT: SMALL ARMS TECHNOLOGY FOR CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE

References: 1

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison (28 August 1789), cited in Ward Thomas, “The New Age of Assassination,” SAIS Review, Vol. XXV, No. 1 (Winter-Spring 2005), 29

2

Icasualties.org

3

http://www.army.mod.uk/training_education/training/20388.aspx

4

Shooting to Live with the One-Hand Gun by Captain William Fairbairn and Captain Eric Sykes 1942

5

Shooting to Live with the One-Hand Gun by Captain William Fairbairn and Captain Eric Sykes 1942

6

Thomas C. Wingfield, “Taking Aim at Regime Elites: Assassination, Tyrannicide, and the Clancy Doctrine,” The Maryland Journal of International Law and Trade (Fall 1998/Winter 1999): 312.

7

OXFORD MONOGRAPHS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW NILS MELZER 2008 http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.co.uk/pdf/0-19-953316-4.pdf

8

“US Still Opposes Targeted Killings.” BBC News, 6 November 2002. Accessed online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2408031.stm 17 February 2006.

9

Byman Do Targeted Killings Work Foreign Affairs Brookings http://www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/cpass/Articles/BymanTargetedKillings.pdf

10

Byman Do Targeted Killings Work Foreign Affairs Brookings http://www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/cpass/Articles/BymanTargetedKillings.pdf

11

Byman Do Targeted Killings Work Foreign Affairs Brookings http://www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/cpass/Articles/BymanTargetedKillings.pdf

12

Byman Do Targeted Killings Work Foreign Affairs Brookings http://www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/cpass/Articles/BymanTargetedKillings.pdf

13

Harvard National Security Journal / Vol. 1 Volume 1—June 27, 2010 ARTICLE Law and Policy of Targeted Killing Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann

14

Harvard National Security Journal / Vol. 1 Volume 1—June 27, 2010 ARTICLE Law and Policy of Targeted Killing Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann

14 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


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