The Legality of Operation Geronimo

Persuasive side chosen: President Obama did have the legal authority to order Operation Geronimo and to execute the plan.
Title Page and Reference Page: 5 Paragraphs should include: Introduction, body, and conclusion. In text citation must be cited for all resources and references used. Attached Prompt.
Times New Roman 12 point font and the current APA Writing Style.


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The Legality of Operation Geronimo

Operation Geronimo has received a lot of praise but has also come under fire for being forceful multinational military operations following 9/11. The mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, the top leader of al-Qaeda, was carried out by SEAL Team Six on May 5, 2001. After months of gathering intelligence, President Obama approved and carried out Operation Geronimo without receiving consent from Congress. The principles of armed conflict must be followed, and the benefits and disadvantages of using force must be weighed before any executive decision or action is taken. Some say that the President should have sought Congressional authority, observed international law, and considered other areas of counterterrorism, notwithstanding the effectiveness of Operation Geronimo. Authorization for using Military Force against September 11 Terrorists, 2001 gave the President the legal power to authorize and carry out the operation. This paper discusses the reason why President Obama did have the legal authority to order Operation Geronimo and to execute the plan.

According to Article 51 of the UN Charter, the President was also allowed to act. Since Pakistan was either unable or unwilling to eliminate the threat on its own, the President was within his rights to launch an operation into Pakistani territory. With the Authorization for the use of Military Force against the Perpetrators of September 11, 2001, President Obama was within his rights to conduct a military raid in a foreign country and kill Osama Bin Laden. The 9/11 congressional resolution authorized the use of “all necessary and appropriate force” against those who planned, endorsed, or participated in the attacks (Glazier, 2017). This also extends to anyone who provides a haven for such organizations or people. In giving the go-ahead to kill Osama, President Obama could sidestep Congress because of this resolution. The reasoning behind the resolution was the treachery and ferocity of the September 11 assaults against the United States and its citizens (Glazier, 2017). The resolution was drafted to deal with Osama as the architect of the September 11 attacks. President Obama’s decision to give Operation Geronimo the go-ahead was consistent with the Constitution, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, and the desire of the American people.

In a sovereign and neutral country like Pakistan, President Obama was within his rights to immediately authorize using force against Osama bin Laden. Increased criticism was directed at the President after he gave his approval for the operation to be carried out on American soil. When a government is neutral between two warring groups or nations, it has an obligation to either apprehend the aggressor or allow for his or her capture or destruction, as argued by Savage (2015). When an impartial state is unable or unwilling to do so, the victim state or group is justified in resorting to using force to eliminate the danger. The same thing happened in 1970 when President Nixon gave the green light for military strikes against a sovereign nation that was officially neutral in the Vietnam War (Glazier, 2017). Intelligence-led President Obama to sanction the operation, and he did so because he believed it was the best and fastest method to conclude the battle between al-Qaeda and Osama.

From 2001 to 2011, the mere mention of Osama bin Laden’s name was enough to strike fear into the hearts of the American public and their elected representatives. It was clear that Osama remained a driving force behind al-Qaeda and a major inspiration for other terrorist organizations that constituted a serious threat to the United States. These worries were finally put to rest when Osama bin Laden was killed, and Operation Geronimo was successfully carried out.

In conclusion, the operation was within President Obama’s legal purview to authorize and carry out on a domestic and international scale. Under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force from 2001, President Obama could circumvent Congress and carry out military operations without their approval. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter also gave the President the legal authority to carry out the plan internationally. Moreover, he was within his rights to employ force against a sovereign nation if that nation refused or could not bring an end to the war through peaceful means. Finally, the President had the necessary legal power because he had planned and carried out the operation in accordance with local and international rules, which guaranteed the swift and painless eradication of the target with no collateral damage.




Glazier, D., (2017). Assessing The Legality of Osama Bin Laden’s killing. Retrieved from

Savage, C., (2015). How 4 Federal Lawyers Paved the Way to Kill Osama bin Laden. Retrieved from

United Nations, (2016). Chapter VII — Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression. Retrieved from

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