I think there is a move being made by various people like the Special Rapp to use this as an opportunity to try and re-define the law of attack by inserting into it an obligation to invite surrender that is not part of the law of war
Read the whole thing.
Look, in war, if someone is attempting to surrender, you have a legal and moral obligation to accept that surrender. But war is war, not an episode of Cops. There is absolutely nothing in the law of war or in history that says you have to ask someone to surrender.
There is nothing, NOTHING wrong with shooting an unarmed enemy. There is nothing, NOTHING wrong with shooting an enemy that is fleeing, or sleeping or just walking down the street.
The ONLY time you have an obligation to accept a surrender is when the enemy is clearly attempting to surrender.
There’s been discussion about whether the President gave an order to kill Bin Laden. Of course he did. Now, if he’d given an order that explicitly ruled out accepting a surrender, that would be an illegal order. But giving the order to kill him merely means that the primary objective wasn’t to capture him. That changes the approach the operators took (and reduced their risks a bit). But it wasn’t in any way illegal or immoral.
If you wage war, don’t be surprised if people wage it back upon you, instead of sending Officer Friendly with a pair of cuffs.