State Officials’ Targeted Killings as a Thorn in the International Cooperation Matrix

  • Sapard Vincent-de Paul Mozes Tshimankinda N Kalala The University of The Gambia, Chancellery Office, Kanifing, Greater Banjul The Gambia
Keywords: 21st Century States Relations, Slaying of Foreign State Agents, International Law of Nations, Diplomatic Relations and protocols, International Diplomatic Conventions, UN Charter, Foreign Political Assassination, International Relations, targeting of the State Agents, UN Conventions and protocols respect


The focus of this paper is on target killings, particularly on state officials, aimed at neutralizing diplomats through death. Countries often cite various reasons for the killings, such as pursuing economic agenda and protecting nations against terrorism, among others. The paper delves into such justifications and the impacts of killing state officials with a focus on which such murders have on international relations. Besides, the paper focuses on historical discourses, especially those pertaining to the United States of America, which has, in the recent past, been widely cited as a gradually-shifting nation with more killings of other nations' agents. The paper builds on the various international accords that countries subscribe to, which subsequently guide international relations. Besides, the paper builds on the liberal and institutionalism theories of international relations, which are elemental components in understanding how diplomatic ties are supposed to be structured as well as the status quo. Through dissection and contextualization of the theories, this paper pinpoints the weak areas, which give nations the leeway to kill other nations' state officials and what would be different if all nations respected the international relations conventional codes. State officials’ targeted killings are a thorn in the international cooperation matrix.


Yunis H. Taming democracy: models of political rhetoric in classical Athens. Cornell University Press; 2018 May 31.

Kafadar C. LI. Sayı: Prelude to Ottoman Decline Consciousness: Monetary Turbulence at the end of the Sixteenth Century and the Intellectual Response.

Dinstein Y. War, aggression and self-defence. Cambridge University Press; 2017 Sep 28.

Tesón F. A philosophy of international law. Routledge; 2018 Jan 31.

Golove DM, Hulsebosch DJ. The Law of Nations and the Constitution: An Early Modern Perspective. Geo. LJ. 2017;106:1593.

Moonen P. The impact of culture on the innovative strength of nations. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 2017 Nov 13.

Gibler DM. International Conflicts, 1816-2010: Militarized Interstate Dispute Narratives. Rowman & Littlefield; 2018 Mar 22.

Zisser E. The Many Implications. Middle East Quarterly. 2019 Jun 1.

Poindexter DF. The Chinese information war: Espionage, cyberwar, communications control and related threats to United States interests. McFarland; 2018 Jul 10.

Sider RJ, editor. The Chicago Declaration. Wipf and Stock Publishers; 2016 Jan 13.

Wright B. Divided nation, divided memories. InMonumental Conflicts 2017 Nov 13 (pp. 111-129). Routledge.

Hashim AS. Iranian General’s Killing: How Will Iran Respond?. RSIS Commentaries, 005-20. 2020.

Newswire NG. Iranian media: CIA agent behind Soleimani killing shot down in Afghanistan. Atlantic. 2020 Jan 28.

Lerner KL. The American Assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani: Strategic Implications, Asymmetrical Threat Risks, and US Congressional Reporting Requirements. Taking Bearings. 2020.

Richter C. Unambiguously ambiguous–a brief comment on the attack on General Soleimani. JuWissBlog. 2020 Jan 23.

Senn M, Troy J. The transformation of targeted killing and international order.

Johnson JA. Taekwondo and peace: How a killing art became a soft diplomacy vehicle for peace. The International Journal of the History of Sport. 2018 Nov 2;35(15-16):1637-62.

Ghobadi M, Seyyed FS. The Relationship between Terrorism and the Right to Life in light of the International Judicial Precedent.

Albini JL, Rogers RE, Anderson J. The Evolution of Espionage Networks and the Crisis of International Terrorism and Global Organized Crime. InGlobal organized crime and international security 2018 Dec 21 (pp. 3-12). Routledge.

Trunov A. Transformation of operations with fuzzy sets for solving the problems on optimal motion of crewless unmanned vehicles. Восточно-Европейский журнал передовых технологий. 2018(4 (4)):43-50.

Galston W. Philosophical dimensions of public policy. Routledge; 2017 Jul 12.

Wendt F. Compromise, peace and public justification: Political morality beyond justice. Springer; 2016 Jul 11.

Sagan SD, Valentino BA. Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran: What Americans really think about using nuclear weapons and killing noncombatants. International Security. 2017 Jul;42(1):41-79.

Johnson GD. Targeted Killing: Managing American Perceptions On Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operations. AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States; 2016 Feb 1.

Ikenberry GJ. The end of liberal international order?. International Affairs. 2018 Jan 1;94(1):7-23.

Stokes D. Trump, American hegemony and the future of the liberal international order. International Affairs. 2018 Jan 1;94(1):133-50.

Beelitz A, Merkl-Davies DM. Discursive framing in private and public communication by pro-nuclear corporate, political and regulatory actors following the Fukushima disaster. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. 2019 Jun 17;32(5):1585-614.

Thakur R. The nuclear ban treaty: Recasting a normative framework for disarmament. The Washington Quarterly. 2017 Oct 2;40(4):71-95.

Barca S, Delicado A. Anti-nuclear mobilisation and environmentalism in Europe: A view from Portugal (1976-1986). Environment and History. 2016 Nov 1;22(4):497-520.

Bini E. About Nuclear Italy: an International History of Italian Nuclear Policies during the Cold War. Lettera Matematica. 2018 Dec 3;6(4):211-3.

Bazuaye B, Fenemigho AI. Universal Jurisdiction Fault Lines and the Immunity of State Officials: A Salutary Warning Before Perdition. African Journal of International and Comparative Law. 2018 Nov;26(4):548-64.

Elleman BA. International Rivalry and Secret Diplomacy in East Asia, 1896-1950. Routledge; 2019 Aug 30.

Bochkarev A, Mansfield DL. The United States and the USSR in a changing world: Soviet and American perspectives. Routledge; 2019 Jul 11.

Kuehn T, Porter AL. Science, technology, and national policy. Cornell University Press; 2019 Jun 30.

Mingst KA, McKibben HE, Arreguin-Toft IM. Essentials of international relations. WW Norton & Company; 2018 Oct 1.

Caust J, Vecco M. Is UNESCO World Heritage recognition a blessing or burden? Evidence from developing Asian countries. Journal of Cultural Heritage. 2017 Oct 1;27:1-9.

Oyserman D. Culture three ways: Culture and subcultures within countries. Annual review of psychology. 2017 Jan 3;68:435-63.

Rodman D. Advocating for Israel: diplomats and lobbyists from Truman to Nixon.

Chow DC. Trade Sanctions and the Division of Federal-State Power over International Trade. Ohio St. LJ. 2018;79:651.

Irwin DA. Clashing over commerce: A history of US trade policy. University of Chicago Press; 2017 Nov 29.

Akbar A, Homayoun H. The Challenge of the “economic independence” and the “sovereignty of states”: a review of the problem of legitimacy of economic sanctions in the realityof the international legal order. Russian Law Journal. 2017;5(3).

Shaw JA. 'The Great Desideratum in Government': James Madison, Benjamin Constant, and the Liberal-Republican Framework for Political Neutrality (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Manchester (United Kingdom)).

Stiglitz JE. Rethinking Globalization in the Trump Era: US-China Relations.

Lundqvist M. The paradox of anarchy: Why anarchy is a rational choice.

Hanegraaff M, Vergauwen J, Beyers J. Should I stay or should I go? Explaining variation in nonstate actor advocacy over time in global governance. Governance. 2019.

Eberhard A, Gratwick K, Morella E, Antmann P. Independent power projects in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from five key countries. The World Bank; 2016 Apr 18.

Capano G. Policy design spaces in reforming governance in higher education: The dynamics in Italy and the Netherlands. Higher Education. 2018 Apr 1;75(4):675-94.

Hollway J, Koskinen J. Multilevel bilateralism and multilateralism: States’ bilateral and multilateral fisheries treaties and their secretariats. InMultilevel Network Analysis for the Social Sciences 2016 (pp. 315-332). Springer, Cham.

Nedal DK, Nexon DH. Anarchy and Authority: International Structure, the Balance of Power, and Hierarchy. Journal of Global Security Studies. 2019 Apr 1;4(2):169-89.

Keohane RO. Observations on the promise and pitfalls of historical institutionalism in international relations. International Politics and Institutions in Time. 2017 Apr 5;321.

Rixen T, Viola LA. Historical institutionalism and international relations: towards explaining change and stability in international institutions.

Deutsch KW. Peoples, Nations, and Communication. InKarl W. Deutsch: Pioneer in the Theory of International Relations 2020 (pp. 51-73). Springer, Cham.

Mahoney K, Rovner J, Mladenovic N, Molina S, Scher A, Stern S, Zoia C. NATO Intelligence Sharing in the 21 st Century. Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, Capstone Research Project. 2017 Jun.

Samek A, Cowell JM, Cappelen AW, Cheng Y, Contreras-Ibáñez C, Gomez-Sicard N, Gonzalez-Gadea ML, Huepe D, Ibáñez A, Lee K, Malcolm-Smith S. The development of social comparisons and sharing behavior across 12 countries. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 2020 Apr 1;192:104778.

Shen S, Chan W. A comparative study of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Marshall plan. Palgrave Communications. 2018 Mar 27;4(1):1-1.

Kasbaoui T, Nechad A. SPECTRUM OF AID AND THE ILLUSION OF A MARSHALL PLAN FOR AFRICA. Economic and Social Development: Book of Proceedings. 2018 May 10:133-44.

Nell KE. A Doctrine of Contingent Sovereignty. Orbis. 2018 Jan 1;62(2):313-34.