Sean Lynn-Jones on leadership decapitation

Do U.S. drone strikes on al-Qaida make us safer?
Power and Policy
June 8, 2012
Commentary by: Sean Lynn-JonesEditor, International Security; Series Editor, Belfer Center Studies in International Security
Topic: Leadership decapitation

“On June 4, a missile fired from a pilotless U.S. drone reportedly killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, said to be al-Qaida’s second-in-command, in a remote region of Pakistan. Just over a year earlier, U.S. special forces stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, and shot him dead. In September 2011, a U.S. drone attack in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American radical Islamic cleric who had become an al-Qaida regional commander. Numerous other al-Qaida leaders have been killed in U.S. attacks in recent years. The Obama administration has made such decapitation attacks a central element in the U.S. struggle against al-Qaida and similar militant organizations.”

Read more >

Bryan Price on how leadership decapitation
contributes to counterterrorism >

Patrick B. Johnston discusses the effectiveness of leadership targeting in counterinsurgency campaigns >

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