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their ability to communicate, and degrades their ability to function.”² Terrorist organizations struggle to unify their power after their prized members have been killed. Leaders are their foundation of success. They form ideologies, uniting others behind their cause and discerning how best to manifest their ideas in the material world. Without the presence of their leaders, terrorist groups begin to lose their most valuable strongholds by losing both followers and direction. This is especially true in the political hotbed of the Middle East. Israel, for example, regularly deals with security concerns as it faces heavy opposition to its existence. Israel has recently been characterized by its foes as a “cancer tumor” that “must be eradicated.”³ This criticism is not unique to modern times. In the Six Day War, the militaries of Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq attacked the Jewish state on June 5, 1967. This coalition of power, the Arab states thought, would unquestionably destroy Israel and its inhabitants. In response, the Israelis consolidated their power and struck back. Within six days, the war was over, resulting in an Israeli victory. Though victorious, Israel realized it did not have the resources nor the willingness to have full-fledged wars with its enemies; therefore, it turned to rely heavily on targeted assassinations to strengthen national security. The Mossad is Israel’s clandestine operations service and is similar to the CIA. Some of their most publicized killings include those of Mahmoud Hamshari, the coordinator behind the Munich Olympic Games massacre in 1972, and Ghassan Kanafani, a terrorist responsible for the death of over 26 people in an airport bombing. According to Roen Bergman, author of Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, Israel has assassinated roughly 2,700 high-target individuals through Mossad, military, police, and additional intelligence organizations.⁴ The Mossad has allowed for the Jewish state to thrive by pinpointing and executing individuals that threaten its government. With them gone, Israel no longer has the need to invade enemy states and risk thousands of innocent civilian lives. This is not to say that targeted killings re66

sult in no collateral damage. Operated by airmen thousands of miles away, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) attack enemy targets through missile strikes. Although relatively accurate, these drone strikes accrue a shockingly high number of civilian casualties, roughly 300 in Afghanistan alone since January 2004.⁵ But that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. In fact, they actually save lives. According to Mike V. Hayden, former director of the NSA, “Civilians have died, but in my firm opinion, the death toll from terrorist attacks would have been much higher if we had not taken action. What we need here is a dial, not a switch.”⁶ Stopping drone warfare would mean more traditional infantry fighting and ultimately more casualties. Sending men and women to the front line is often less effective, riskier and costlier. Taking care of an army of soldiers is a much larger undertaking than coordinating a series of drone strikes. That said, there is the possibility of too much drone warfare, which is why Hayden suggests we think of it in terms of a dial. It is not a yes or no question; rather, it is one of frequency. In a targeted killing situation, the simple notion of “good guy” vs. “bad guy” blurs. Targeted killings may start to look like the potential death of innocent citizens. But this is the real cost and benefit analysis military advisors must make on a daily basis. Nobody wishes death upon civilians, but priorities of national security often outweigh

Stopping drone warfare would mean more traditional infantry fighting and ultimately more casualties. Sending men and women to the front line is often less effective, riskier and costlier. innocent casualties; this is a harsh reality. In a perfect world, terrorists would not be so deeply intertwined with the civilian sphere of life, but they are intelligent, and their ingenuity cannot be disregarded. Often creative, terrorist groups have traditionally found and continue to find new ways to avoid military intervention. They are staunch believers in their cause, and no one or organization will get in the way of what they wish to achieve.

Profile for Rebuttal

Spring 2019  

We proudly present our first issue! The topics include abortion, the Iran deal, voter ID laws, targeted killings by governments, Hamilton: A...

Spring 2019  

We proudly present our first issue! The topics include abortion, the Iran deal, voter ID laws, targeted killings by governments, Hamilton: A...

Profile for rebuttal
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