Is killing or capturing enemy leaders an effective military tactic? Previous research on interstate war and counterterrorism has suggested that targeting enemy leaders does not work. Drawing on newly collected data on counterinsurgency campaigns, new analysis on the effectiveness of leadership decapitation is presented.The implications of these results for academic research, military operations, and policy are smoking!!
The results suggest that leadership decapitation is more effective than the conventional wisdom suggests.
First, campaigns are more likely to end quickly when counterinsurgents successfully target enemy leaders.
Second, counterinsurgents who successfully capture or kill insurgent leaders are significantly more likely to defeat insurgencies than those who fail.
Third, conflict intensity is more likely to decrease following successful leadership removals than after failed attempts.
Pic - "Despite her controversial nature, Great Satan"s asset kicking counter-terrorism strategy has demonstrated a degree of effectiveness."