Articles by Bryan C. Price and Patrick B. Johnston from the Spring 2012 issue of International Security

Studies: Drone strikes work
August 9, 2012
Featuring: International Security articles by Bryan C. Price and Patrick B. Johnston
Also quoted: Stephen M. Walt, member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors and Harvard Kennedy School’s Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs, and Micah Zenko, Douglas Dillon Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former Project on Managing the Atom research associate
Topic: Drone strikes and targeted killings

“Earlier this month, a CIA drone missile fired into a compound in a Pakistani village killed al-Qaida’s deputy leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi. The strike killed only Libi, but America’s targeted killings of terrorists and suspected militants have proven deeply controversial, both at home and abroad. So why does the Obama administration continue to rely on drones and targeted killings? Well, because they work.

That, at least, is the conclusion reached by two new studies in the journal International Security. Killing terrorist leaders is effective in destroying terrorist groups, suggest the papers, published by MIT Press. These findings contradict previous research and accepted wisdom that taking out terrorist leaders is either useless or, worse, an invitation to retaliation.”

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