The United States’ controversial program of using drones to target terrorist groups overseas, especially their leaders, came into sharp focus again in recent days after President Barack Obama was forced to apologize for a drone strike in Pakistan that killed two foreign hostages held by al-Qaeda.
U.S. policy-makers view drones as the best way to disrupt terror groups with minimal risk to American lives. The strategy has created a backlash over unintended civilian casualties and the legality of targeting American members of terror groups.
Advocates claim it’s effective, making it harder for terrorists to operate in the open and putting a target on the back of anyone who aspires to the leadership.
But what if the basic premise behind so-called “decapitation programs” (attacks that target the leaders of an organization) is wrong? What if drone attacks or other forms of targeted assassination using special operations hit teams leads to more terror attacks on civilians?
Max Abrahms, aRead More »from 'Decapitation strikes' on terrorist groups may bolster attacks against civilians: study