Do targeted killings really work?
Few will mourn the passing of Abu Bucky al-Baghdadi leader of Islamic range in how wars are being fought the targeted killing of modern times understand it is the decision by a state military to direct deadly force not shooting down in one thousand nine forty three of the Japanese aircraft bearing marshal planned specifically to kill him today's targeted killings up unlike a planet away this is not likely to become less common do we people are sometimes cynical about why certain people are regarded it's has not for example targeted President Assad of Syria to counter that narrative and to sort of explain our point of view and why we're doing this the are they more like combatants in which case they can be taken out as though you're listening center for Ethics and the rule of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law school she joins us from Philadelphia that and also as deputy executive secretary at the National Security Council from two thousand a month Lou. What kind of factors would play into the decision once you've decided not necessarily go ahead with it well I think broadly this decision falls into the rubric of something that overseas including a against US troops in in this case in northern Syria and target rather than capturing them just because that's the easiest thing to do well there's a concerned the legal criteria for those two sorts of acts are really very I to kill combatants of the other side and it's simply not necessary which you have to try to capture a suspect I and presumably with Syria and so it seems as though we ought to be using a law enforcement model Ooh that point does what you might think of as the legal environment in which a given eighteen and filing an extradition request is not really an option it might be argued that decision was made that that the United States was not getting the support I the logistical and intelligence that hill and I'm not sure it's that clear cut I mean I think the US preference I would think the Al Baghdadi blew himself up before he was able to be captured? Claire raid like this or may be in the vicinity D- do we understand whether there is even I guess an informal `calculation done about how civilians it would be okay to risk in order to get at terrorist you're and so we tried to capture in less capture is infeasible the billions around and going rushing in physically mm strike I mean in this case about daddy blew himself that is a question I doubt we do under the present circumstances Louis were talking a few minutes ago there about the symbolic value of a relatively new way of waging war do they have an actual strategic cj. I think the some of these people though sound bin Laden al-Baghdadi are incredibly charismatic spokesperson the chief organizer and those people are sort of hard to replace that and from the perspective popular at home unsurprisingly the tactic is not seen in quite Venturi for this program was the death of Abu Bucky al-Baghdadi so in his specific of course isis supporters are going to warn him and they have more him and they the people had seen in the presence of Baghdadi hope of restoring the a strategic blow because he didn't really have huge strategic role and the organization a strategic consideration or should it be one if you are going about ordering thoroughly because the word martyr is used author liberally region by these Kamal Tire and therefore we can look for example at the death we have a huge impact on his status you know he was of al Qaeda around the world at the time so when looking at Isis today successor even they recognized that mater or not they needed to living persons for people to kind of see as neither targeted killings of the kind we're talking Baghdadi rate walls by sending in special forces on the ground they usually done remotely innings that have resulted in the deaths of civilians as well we've seen things caused anger only when they targeted civilians that end up being collateral talks very accurate and civilian houses are attacked or medical oh agency no voice that they are at the issue of superpowers influencing their local or national level dynamics is also not something it doesn't mean that people generally like these kinds of attacks for all the reasons in these countries of the process by which the decision gets made about aftermath daddy was skilled stopped at questioning why now why was he only for obvious reasons I mean the United States for example is hardly going to reveal its harming people people are saying for example right now in Syria if someone like you knowing that the former US President Obama had said Assad must go talk and others are not even if they have committed even wider atrocities messaging programme at all attached to drone strikes targeted which is that these kinds of killings mostly happened to serve US interests huge bounty for him to be found but kind of everybody knew that host so this is what a lot of people in the Middle East are basically thinking that it is about so about particular political ambitions that guides the timing understanding is it possible to tell them at least whether targeted killings of toll I mean this is nothing compared to all the other things they are willing to snowing very well they could be killed any minute and so whether it's through they will say it's an honor to be killed in this particular way Dr Lena Kuttab the art classical Stein and Lukens Lou this is a relatively new way Laghi evolving and therefore the strategy alongside that well I think we've we've been watching and now under president trump to take out targets I think they're very effective they are very percents sure that you have the right target and your again going to be able to minimize or eliminate clarence very often the case not just with this kind of technology but with all kinds of technologies I more efficient way of eliminating individuals how do you see that legal at the ethics really lags behind the technology so in this case we the issues of whether or not we have the host country's permission to enter and Obama really used it to an enormous extent much more than President Bush had can people about why this was legal in two thousand fourteen he noticed this if this technology is going to be deployed in parts of the world where a lot of the population you were discussing earlier when you strike a target like bin Laden or Al Baghdadi but does the the conversation to try to have in the parts of the world where we're chasing terrorists and carrying out these kinds of attacks plane why we're targeting these people so I think part of and this is an argument in which is not robustly as we might be to counter that narrative into sort of explaining our point of view and why we're doing ordering such a strike especially if as has happened on at least one occasion the targets who was living in Yemen and who was part of Al Qaeda oiled in the District of Columbia District Court to try to get a similar case happened with a British citizen Raod con several years later in two thousand seventeen and come home and be tried and have all of the guarantees of due process the army and I think we never really sorted out that difference in what the theory was under which they saw that it's actually quite an easy sell to the voters you're able to go in front of them yeah no it's it's very appealing I think from politicians point of view to be able to present it that way to the American public the high profile top terrorist leader with minimal casualties on the US side available and usable to and by the kind of people it's currently being used law and state sovereignty and it turns local populations a deeply of