Surgical Counter-Terrorism: Targeting Individuals as an Operational Tool
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, President Bush declared war on international terrorism. Almost immediately, the topic of assassination as an operational tool surfaced and began to be debated. Can and should we employ the targeting of individual terrorists as an operational tool to prosecute the war on terror Much has been written regarding assassination as a tool of foreign policy, though most authors have approached the subject of assassination from the perspective of targeting political leaders during peacetime. After examining the legal, strategic, and operational considerations associated with targeting individual terrorists during times of war, this paper will demonstrate that targeting individuals as an operational tool is legal and operationally effective in combating terrorism. The overall framework of this paper will be an examination of those issues that are of critical concern to a Joint Force Commander tasked with prosecuting the war on terrorism. 28 refs.
- Unconventional Warfare