Operation Geronimo and Its Legality Analysis

Topic: International Law
Words: 587 Pages: 2

Geronimo is a name of the operation by the US military, which aimed to destroy Osama bin Laden. He is a dangerous terrorist that founded and headed a terrorist organization called Al-Qaeda. After claiming responsibility for the September 11th attacks on America, bin Laden became a top priority target for the US Navy SEALs. Barack Obama, the ex-president of the United States, who was in office from 2009 to 2017 (Zelizer, 2018) was in charge of Operation Geronimo. The operation demonstrated the power of the US coalition forces. The operation implied the cooperation of several security forces of the US.

The United States Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden since he was a member of the terrorist organization and threatened the security of the US (Fisher & Becker, 2021). Some believed that President Obama lacked the legal authority to command Operation Geronimo to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. I disagree with the claim because he acted in the best interests of the American people. I support the statement that Barack Obama had the legal authority to execute the operation. According to several documents, the president has the right to defend his country and serves as the main reason why Barack Obama acted legally.

First, according to the Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, a nation has the right to defend itself against acts of aggression, actions threatening peace, and violations. The Charter states, that in the case of the attack on the United Nations Member, there is nothing that compromises the individual’s right to self-defense or the right of collective self-defense. The September 11th event is clearly a big threat for the people of the United States and the peace in the country. United Nations Chapter allows the United States President to protect their country from any kind of assaults and people who were in charge of the terrorist attacks on September 11th coordinated by Al-Qaeda.

Secondly, referring to the official document of such international organizations as NATO, Barack Obama, as a president of the United States, was permitted to order the mission. In addition, such permission is also mentioned in Geneva Conventions. I believe that these official documents issued by NATO, United Nations, and Geneva Conventions, would give Barack Obama a great opportunity to protect the United States legitimately. United Nations, as an organization that pursues democratic peace, would support President Obama.

Thirdly, the order was issued just days after four skilled administrative lawyers smoothed the way for the operation by establishing rationales to overcome any legal challenges. As a result, the order was to kill Osama rather than apprehend him. According to the United States Constitution, the President is the military’s commander in chief. As the top military commander, Obama had the legal authority and responsibility to protect and defend the United States of America. Osama bin Laden was in charge of overseeing the operation’s success since he was involved in terrorist and evil actions that resulted in the loss of lives and property in the United States and around the world.

As a result, Obama was in charge of that crucial military decision. The United States Constitution establishes the president’s duty as commander-in-chief. Osama bin Laden was a threat to the United States and he was blamed for the murder of thousands of people. The Geronimo Operation pursued keeping the United States of America in peace and thus destroying Osama bin Laden. Taking into consideration all the above statements, I believe that President Obama had the legal authority to execute the operation.


Fisher, D., & Becker, M. H. (2021). The heterogeneous repercussions of killing Osama bin Laden on global terrorism patterns. European Journal of Criminology, 18(3), 301-324. Web.

Zelizer, J. E. (Ed.). (2018). The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment. Princeton University Press.

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