Center for Strategic Communication

In a new Op-Ed for Bloomberg, ASP Fellow Joshua Foust outlines the difficult changes necessary to move the War on Terror from targeted killings to targeted captures.

The debate over U.S. President Barack Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency has become a debate on how to run the war on terrorism.

The focus right now is on Brennan’s role, as the White House’s counterterrorism adviser, in the government’s “targeted killing” strategy, carried out mostly by drones but also in special operations such as the one that caught Osama bin Laden.

Although this is a crucial part of the counterterrorism mission, it can’t be discussed without addressing a critical component: creating a legal, effective detainment policy to arrest, hold and, one hopes, put on trial those suspected of committing or planning actions of terrorism. This means shifting the priority from targeted killings to targeted captures.

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