Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught since 1982. His seven nonfiction books include God’s Name in Vain: The Wrongs. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), spent 11 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. His 12th book, The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama, was published by Beast Books in January.

Anwar al-Awlaki inspired terrorist acts and was certainly dangerous, but President Obama must explain the goals of his drone war to the nation—and the ethical rules that guide him in targeting U.S. citizens and others abroad. For more coverage, Richard Miniter argues that not only was the killing legal—it was wise.