v15_2004e - Targeting the Leadership of Terrorist and...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
59 Targeting the Leadership of Terrorist and Insurgent Movements: Historical Lessons for Contemporary Policy Makers 7 4 Lisa Langdon, Alexander J. Sarapu, and Matthew Wells are Master of Public Policy candidates at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan (llangdon@umich.edu, asarapu@umich.edu, mswells@umich.edu). T ARGETING THE L EADERSHIP OF T ERRORIST AND I NSURGENT M OVEMENTS : H ISTORICAL L ESSONS FOR C ONTEMPORARY P OLICY M AKERS Lisa Langdon, Alexander J. Sarapu, and Matthew Wells In a world where the struggle against terrorism and insurgent movements has become the top priority for many policy mak- ers, there is a growing need for research that examines what happens to militant movements after the death or arrest of a leader. Do groups tend to disband, schism, or become more radical? What characteristics of a group make it more susceptible to certain changes after the loss of a leader? Using thirty-Fve case studies drawn from more than forty countries, this paper analyzes the effect that the death or arrest of a leader has on social, political, and religious movements. Its conclusions are drawn from an analysis of the groups’ characteristics and an assessment of the effects the loss of a leader had on the surviv- ability and evolution of the movement. The analysis provides some guidance for policy makers focused on incapacitating leadership as part of a broader effort to combat terrorist and insurgent movements. 1 American policy makers and government ofFcials around the globe are focusing much attention on disrupting terrorist and insurgent movements in order to prevent future attacks and incapacitate their networks. Part of Journal of Public and International Affairs, Volume 15/Spring 2004 Copyright © 2004, the Trustees of Princeton University http://www.princeton.edu/~jpia
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
60 Lisa Langdon, Alexander J. Sarapu, and Matthew Wells the strategy focuses on breaking up Fnancial networks and denying opera- tives the freedom to operate by cutting off communications and limiting the amount of space in which they can train. The most visible side of the war against terrorism and insurgent movements, however, is the U.S.- led effort to capture or kill top leadership. The Clinton administration’s cruise missile attack on a suspected bin Laden training camp and the Bush administration’s hellFre missile attack on a caravan of suspected al Qaeda leaders in Yemen demonstrated the widespread belief that incapacitating a leader of a movement helps to prevent future attacks. Indeed, President Bush has made the capture or assassination of Usama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein one of the central elements of his anti-terrorism and anti-insurgency efforts. There is no doubt that some leaders, including bin Laden and Hussein,
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 20

v15_2004e - Targeting the Leadership of Terrorist and...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online