On Killing al-Zarqawi: Does United States Policy Know Its Tool in the War on Terror?
Reed, Donald J.
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Much of the media-pundit and popular analysis that has followed the death of al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has focused on how his death will affect the outcome of the war in Iraq. However, the emphasis on outcome is not the right approach. Al-Zarqawi'۪s death serves a greater strategic purpose both in the war in Iraq and in the larger war on terror, when viewed as process rather than as outcome. From the premise that al-Zarqawi'۪s death leaves the Iraqi insurgency and al Qaeda intact and capable of continuing to fight, the questions for the United States become: Does his death advance United States policy in the war in Iraq, and the overall war on terror? How successful is the United States in disrupting the processes of the Iraqi Insurgency and of al Qaeda? As a corollary, what are the domestic implications? This article argues that the answers perhaps can be found in the tools of policy that are available to the United States.
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (July 2006), v.2 no.2
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