With the end of World War II and the establishment of the UN, particularly Articles 2(4) and 51 of the UN Charter, the international community has endeavored with mixed success to regulate the use of force. International relations have traditionally been conducted with a Westphalian view of individual state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Respect for state sovereignty encourages stability. Today non-state actors operating across state boundaries present a new and complex set of problems. And states tend to act in what they perceive to be their own self-interest, which may or may not be in strict compliance with Art. (2)(4). In addition, technology has expanded the ways in which states can now use force to attempt to alter outcomes. Targeted killings (or non-judicial killings) using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are but a recent example of the application of limited force to obtain a desired outcome. Covert activities, while raising substantial policy issues, may avoid some of the legal and political difficulties associated with the use of overt military force and may become an increasingly attractive option in situations, including threats to human rights, where diplomatic or economic coercion are not sufficiently viable and action is deemed necessary by state decision makers. There is a tremendous amount of scholarship emerging that focuses on this and other aspects of covert activities. The United States conducts covert operations through both the CIA and Department of Defense. In this course we will first examine the U.S. law regulating such activities, including Title 10 and Title 50 and Congressional Oversight. But most of the course will be devoted to reviewing the relevant areas of international law (including the Law of Armed Conflict, International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law) that are most often invoked in analyzing the legality of the use of force. We will examine several types of specific operations, including renditions, reprisals and humanitarian rescue operations. The course will examine a variety of scholarly legal arguments in the context of specific covert operations that have been reasonably well documented. We will discuss the law enforcement model often proposed where targeted killing is involved and compare it with the more traditional approach found in the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law. This course will examine how neutral legal norms are applied in specific contexts and how political reality can shape outcomes and the application of such norms.