November 9, 2012

Robert L. Boyce III writes [“A counterproductive drone policy,” Free for All, Nov. 3] that he was disappointed that The Post’s Oct. 24 front-page article on the drone program included “almost nothing about international law and the immorality of such targeted assassinations,” and he called for Congress to tell President Obama to stop the drone program.

There is nothing illegal or immoral about the U.S. drone program targeting unlawful enemy combatants. The United States is in compliance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which grants nations the right of self-defense against enemy attempts to attack. This certainly applies in the case of unlawful enemy combatants planning to attack the United States and U.S. interests worldwide. Congress granted the president authorization to use such force with the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force,” a joint resolution passed by Congress on Sept. 14, 2001, authorizing the use of all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups fall within Congress’s above-cited definition.

William H. Barkell, Arlington