The scenario is as unrealistic as the torture 'ticking time bomb' scenario. Typically, targeted killing operations do not target suspected terrorists who wear explosives and are ready to bomb a shopping mall.
As the news broke on March 7, 2016, that U.S. drone strikes had killed 150 people in Somalia, the White House announced it will reveal, for the first time, the number of people killed by drones and manned airstrikes "outside areas of active hostilities" since 2009. This is a critical first step toward much-needed transparency. But it will not go far enough.
More than anything else, drone strikes actively work against the potential for just, lasting peace. The kind of peace that involves political stability, economic opportunity, and restorative justice is impossible to reconcile with global, endless drone wars.
To stand the test of time regardless of evolving technology, international law must "work" from all participants' standpoints, not just those nations which view themselves as most militarily powerful at the moment.
American exceptionalism reflects the belief that Americans are somehow better than everyone else. This view reared its head after the 2013 leak of a Department of Justice White Paper that describes circumstances under which the President can order the targeted killing of U.S. citizens.
Obama did not start the congressionally unauthorized drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia -- which because of this lack of legitimate authority are essentially murdering people without due process -- George W. Bush did. But Obama has accelerated the illegitimate killing.