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The Effects of Decapitation Strikes Against Terrorist Leadership

Targeted, lethal strikes against terrorist leaders have become a common approach utilized by nations to combat the terror threat in the post-9/11 counterterrorism environment. Such strikes are commonly referred to as “decapitation strikes,” as they remove the “head” of an organization with the intention of degrading/dismantling the organization’s leadership structure (this paper will use the term throughout).

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