George F. Will: A case for targeted killings
Most U.S. wars have been fought with military mass sustained by economic might. But as Yoo says, today's war is against a diffuse enemy that has no territory to invade and no massed forces to crush. So the war cannot be won by producing more tanks, army divisions or naval forces. The United States can win only by destroying al-Qaida's “ability to function — by selectively killing or capturing its key members.”
After the terrorist bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, the Bill Clinton administration launched cruise missiles against suspected terrorist camps in Afghanistan, hoping bin Laden was there. If the missiles had killed him, would this have been improper? In March 2003, in the hours before the invasion of Iraq, the George W. Bush administration, thinking it knew where Saddam Hussein was, launched a cruise missile strike against one of his compounds. Was it wrong to try to economize violence by decapitating his regime? Would it have been morally preferable to attempt this by targeting, with heavy bombing, not a person but his neighborhood? Surely not.
George Will's email address is email@example.com.
WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP
Voices Photo Galleriesview all
- 17917Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 11872Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 10569OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 10552Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 10275Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated
- 9958Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 9874Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss