Original Article Post Date:
Necessary (Perhaps) But Not Sufficient: Assessing Drone Strikes Through A Counterinsurgency Lens
by Joshua S. Jones
August 28, 2012
The relatively recent New York Times article on President Obama’s “Kill List” (and other similar articles here and here along with the strike on Al-Qaeda’s former second-in-command) highlights not just a moral conundrum for the commander-in-chief but a strategy that if enacted by itself may cause more harm than good. What’s worse, the United States has learned that this approach is self-defeating at the operational level in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A “kill list” is little different than a “body count” strategy—kill enough of them, and the threat goes away. However, as noted in the article, the kill list which includes individuals from a number of states (including the United States) never gets shorter, the names and faces are simply replaced.