Incentives for Targeted Killing

I’ve posted before about targeted killing, and written about it for publication, as well.  I’ll be on NPR’s All Things Considered today, in a story by correspondent Ari Shapiro, talking about targeted killings in relation to detention and interrogation.  (Now that I’ve seen the story, I see with pleasure that it also quotes Matthew Waxman, Vijay Padmanabhan, John Bellinger, and Monica Hakimi.  Cool lineup.)  My point is pretty straightforward – uncertainties in detention and interrogation policies, particularly for mid-level operatives in the CIA and intelligence agencies, partly created by the courts and partly created by other actors such as DOJ, have increased the incentives to kill rather than capture.  Not always by use of Predator missiles, as the Somalia raid using helicopters firing on a vehicle a few weeks ago pointed up, but an incentive to kill from a distance rather than seek to capture and interrogate for intelligence value.  I haven’t heard the story, which was pre-taped, but I have a high opinion of Ari Shapiro as a journalist, and I’m sure that apart from whatever little bit is my part of the story, there’s good stuff there.  But anyway there’s a link to it and a snippet at the NPR blog.  (Cross-posted to OJ and CTLab.)

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