The Lawfare Podcast: An Empirical Analysis of Targeted Killing

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 5:01 AM

What does the American public actually know concretely about the effectiveness of U.S. drone strikes? Jack Goldsmith sat down with Mitt Regan, a professor at Georgetown Law School and the co-director of its Center on National Security and Law, who seeks to answer this question in his new book, “Drone Strike—Analyzing the Impacts of Targeted Killing.” They discussed his deep analysis of the empirical literature on the effectiveness of targeted strikes outside active theaters of combat against al-Qaeda and affiliates and the impact of these strikes on civilians. They also explore the theoretical challenges to real empirical knowledge of these questions, the extent to which drone strikes have contributed to security within the United States, and what his findings imply about the consequences of the impact of the Afghanistan withdrawal.