Does Assassinating Al Qaeda Leaders Work?

Killing Al Qaeda’s Leaders: It Works — Robin Simcox, L.A. Times

The targeted assassinations of Osama bin Laden and other high-level operatives have seriously damaged the terrorist group.

In the year since President Obama approved a successful raid against Osama bin Laden, public opinion has been shifting. While many Westerners still celebrate the targeted killing — along with the killing several months later of Anwar Awlaki — some are expressing doubts.

European politicians, human rights lawyers and members of some East Coast think tanks have posited that these terrorists were actually more dangerous dead than alive. Death, the reasoning goes, martyred the leaders, thus immortalizing their ideas and appeal. Furthermore, the critics say, killing Al Qaeda leaders has had little strategic effect because the group can quickly replenish its ranks with able deputies.


My Comment: I prefer capturing these leaders and shipping them off to Guantanamo …. but Guantanamo is not exactly “in vogue” at the moment. So I guess the next best option is to kill the leadership ….. which is also an effective way to disrupt Al Qaeda …. but …. not a good way to get intelligence if these leaders are dead.


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