WASHINGTON — Today, 113 organizations from the United States and around the world sent a letter to President Biden calling for an end to the U.S. program of lethal strikes outside recognized battlefields, including through the use of drones. The groups’ focus varies from: human rights; civil rights and civil liberties; racial, social, and environmental justice; humanitarian approaches to foreign policy; faith-based initiatives; peacebuilding; government accountability; veterans’ issues; and the protection of civilians.
“Successive presidents have now claimed the unilateral power to authorize secretive extrajudicial killing outside any recognized battlefield, with no meaningful accountability for wrongful deaths and civilian lives lost and injured,” reads the letter, which was signed by organizations based in the United States as well as in countries impacted by the program, including Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. “This program is a centerpiece of the United States’ forever wars and has exacted an appalling toll on Muslim, Brown, and Black communities in multiple parts of the world. Twenty years into a war-based approach that has undermined and violated fundamental rights, we urge you to abandon it and embrace an approach that advances our collective human security.”
The letter calls on the Biden administration to use its ongoing review of the program, as well as the upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11, as an opportunity to disavow and end the lethal strikes program for good. Read the letter in full here.