This Intelligence Studies Essay assesses open source research to determine the relative effectiveness of two alternative strategies for directing lethal attacks against terrorist groups: leadership decapitation, or degradation of mid-level management.
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Editor’s Note: The U.S. drone program – as Lawfare readers well know – raises contentious policy issues as well as criticisms of its legality and morality. Many of these policy issues come to the fore in Yemen, where chaos and civil war are sweeping the land. Jillian Schwedler, a professor at Hunter College and expert on Yemen, argues that the U.S. drone campaign in Yemen is backfiring, enraging locals and contributing to a range of U.S. policy failures there.