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Leadership Decapitation – Strategic Targeting of Terrorist Organizations - Stanford Scholarship Online
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Leadership Decapitation: Strategic Targeting of Terrorist Organizations

Jenna Jordan


Does leadership targeting work? This question lies at the heart of studies on the efficacy of counterterrorism policy. This book examines whether killing or arresting terrorists is an effective means by which to weaken and degrade a group’s operational capacity. It aims to identify and explain why decapitation works in some cases and not in others. In order to determine whether decapitation is an effective strategy, this project examines nearly one thousand instances of leadership targeting. A group’s susceptibility to leadership targeting is a function of three factors: organizational structu ... More

Keywords: terrorism, counterterrorism, decapitation, leadership targeting, targeted killing, counterterrorism policy, terrorist organizations, organizations, leaders

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9781503608245
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9781503608245.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jenna Jordan, author
Georgia Institute of Technology