The traditional interpretation of the right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, by prohibiting preemptive actions, gives terrorists and states sponsoring terrorist activities de facto immunity from justice and legality. Contemporary terrorist threats make the permissibility of anticipatory self-defense not only necessary, but reasonable, fair, and just. … Preemptive strikes should not be the ‘rule,’ but they may be legitimate as an exception to the charter's prohibition against the use of force.

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