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169 votes
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Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

The reasons given by @zidadawatimmy's answer aren't wrong, but the points made in the original post are also well taken. As your decision to post this question in this forum illustrates, this is also ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.3k
162 votes

Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

What's the big deal? The UK government believes that the government of Russia sent military personnel onto its territory to kill UK citizens. There's a word for one country sending its military into ...
Graham's user avatar
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155 votes
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Why is it a bad idea to hire a hitman to eliminate most corrupt politicians?

Basically because your idea (assassination of corrupt politician) undermines rather than reinforces the rule of law. Usually the definition of corruption includes some kind of illegal activity. ...
against very long user names's user avatar
102 votes

What would the Kremlin stand to gain from killing the ex-spy Sergey Skripal?

Skripal was a double-agent who used to work for the Russian secret service GRU but defected to the UK intelligence service MI6. He was arrested by the Russians in 2004. In 2010, he was officially ...
Philipp's user avatar
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101 votes
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Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

One of the primary functions of government is to protect its residents from capricious actions of foreign governments. In fact, one of the tests for a government to be recognized as sovereign is that ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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86 votes
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Why does US confirm conducting strikes such as the one that targeted Qassem Soleimani?

The point of publicizing the action is to make it act as a deterrent for others. The modern version of gunboat diplomacy: The results indicate that the most effective gunboat diplomacy involves a ...
against very long user names's user avatar
85 votes
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Why has Israel not expelled Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal poisoning?

Israel has a complicated relationship with Russia, which it doesn't want to hurt. Russia is a major supporter of Assad's regime in Syria, which is aligned with Iran and Hezbollah, Israel's bitter ...
ugoren's user avatar
  • 2,679
78 votes

Why has Israel not expelled Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal poisoning?

In January 2010, a team of Israeli government agents travelled to Dubai, UAE and, in a highly-sophisticated operation, assassinated a senior official of the terrorist organization Hamas. Dubai police ...
Michael Benjamin's user avatar
63 votes
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Why do authoritarian regimes bother keeping opposition leaders alive in prison?

For different reasons, some of which are implicitly absent from your question: First you are looking at "survivor bias", where the given outcome - loss of power to imprisonee - happened, ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
59 votes

Why do the United States openly acknowledge targeted assassinations?

Quoting Biden: “The United States continues to demonstrate its resolve and capacity to defend Americans from those who seek to do it harm,” Biden said, making it “clear again [that] no matter how ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 35.1k
57 votes

Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

Everyone knows what a gun looks like They are relatively easy to detect, and security personnel may be trained to better spot those carrying a gun. Acquiring a gun, especially for foreigners, can be ...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar
57 votes

What would Ukraine gain by disclosing intelligence information about Putin assassination plans?

An important part of remaining in power as a dictator is the general impression that it is inevitable that the dictator will remain in power (at least for the medium term) — because then challenging ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 13.7k
48 votes

Why is it a bad idea to hire a hitman to eliminate most corrupt politicians?

Interestingly, avoiding this is one of the reasons that the United States Constitution provides means for legal impeachment of the president. Dr. Franklin was for retaining the clause [on impeachment]...
divibisan's user avatar
  • 25.9k
44 votes

Was it legal according to Ukrainian law to kill Illya Kyva?

There is room for controversy, but the standard for extrajudicial killings in times of a declared war in a place not under the total control of the government carrying out the killing are analyzed ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.3k
43 votes

What would the Kremlin stand to gain from killing the ex-spy Sergey Skripal?

In addition to @Philipp's answer: Poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal was close to {an unnamed} consultant who was linked to the Trump dossier — The Telegraph If the above allegation is true, it ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
40 votes

Why was Qasem Soleimani in Iraq?

Soleimani was killed together with the leaders of some Iranian-backed Shia militias, who themselves have been accused of attacking US targets in Iraq, in particular Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis: He was ...
against very long user names's user avatar
39 votes

Political purpose of Canada's prime minister publicly accusing India's government of being involved with killing a Canadian Sikh leader

Basically the same reasons that the U.S. made public the allegations of Saudi Arabia's royal family being involved in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi when he briefly visited ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 8,280
38 votes

Why raise so much fuss about the Skripal poisoning?

There have been a number of similar murders linked to Russia, which raised little fuss at the time. However these (with the exception of Litvinenko) were not carried out using poison. The big fuss is ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
37 votes

Why has Israel not expelled Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal poisoning?

The action against Russian Diplomats is being led by the UK, not the US. UK and Israel are not particularly close. The other countries that have supported the UK are Countries with a close ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
34 votes

Are there any facts according to which the Russian government is responsible for the chemical attack in Great Britain?

By fact I mean some true evidence or some proof, something that can be taken as a proof in some sort of International Court of Justice, like - people who organized this attack, their motivation to ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.3k
30 votes

Why is it a bad idea to hire a hitman to eliminate most corrupt politicians?

The question is whether the politician is corrupt or the whole society is corrupt. Often most corrupt politicians belong to corrupt societies. Therefore, if you kill a corrupt politician, another one ...
Santiago's user avatar
  • 781
29 votes
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Why is Iraq's decision to expel US troops non-binding?

I'm not sure there is a clear answer to this. US forces currently in Iraq aren't there as part of a formal agreement of any sort. They are there 'informally' at the invitation of the Iraqi government. ...
PhillS's user avatar
  • 7,549
29 votes

Why do authoritarian regimes bother keeping opposition leaders alive in prison?

An imprisoned opposition leader is a weapon and a tool to manipulate my enemies. If I have the leader of a faction in my prison, then I have that faction on the hook. They must either replace that ...
Rowan's user avatar
  • 391
29 votes

Why do the United States openly acknowledge targeted assassinations?

There are multiple aspects to this question. First, and maybe most obviously, announcing something that could have remained secret is usually done because the political entity doing the announcing ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 13.2k
28 votes

Why do the United States openly acknowledge targeted assassinations?

The case of Al Zawahiri was quite clear cut since the evidence he was a threat to the US is in the video messages he himself recorded. Furthermore it was evident that apprehending him in a legal ...
FluidCode's user avatar
  • 7,365
26 votes

Who was General Qasem Soleimani, and why was he targeted by the US?

According to the BBC: The 62-year old [general] spearheaded Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of Iran's elite Quds Force. [...] Under his leadership, Iran had bolstered Hezbollah ...
against very long user names's user avatar
24 votes

Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

Assassinations like this are specifically done so they stand out. Polonium and nerve agents don't grow on trees, so you immediately have to turn to state sponsorship. The problem is that perpetrators ...
Machavity's user avatar
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24 votes
Accepted

Why was Qasem Soleimani in Iraq?

According to this BBC article Soleimani was in Iraq to meet the Iraqi Prime Minister: The Iraqi prime minister revealed he had been due to meet Soleimani on Friday, the day he was killed along with ...
Harry Johnston's user avatar
23 votes

Why has Israel not expelled Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal poisoning?

Israel's prime minister has a thin majority which includes the far-right and Russian-speaking Lieberman, who is minister of defense. His party historically gets most votes from Russians in Israel, who ...
Nemo's user avatar
  • 341

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