There should be no debate that Jennifer Carson’s article (2017, this issue) has deep policy significance. The decision to engage in warfare is maybe the most consequential that a US president makes. Regardless of whether we as scholars believe that a “war on terror” is a good or a bad policy decision or even a good or a bad name to use for the broader effort is inconsequential. Like all wars, the essence is elimination of an enemy and eventual desistance of hostilities. The war on terror has taken many forms, but one of the most controversial is the policy of targeted assassinations. As Carson notes, knowing whether these actions lead to deterring future terrorist attacks or backlash that produces more attacks is critical to knowing whether we should continue or eliminate the policy.
Young, Joseph K. 2017. "Morality, Efficacy, and Targeted Assassination as a Policy Tool." Criminology and Public Policy (January). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1745-9133.12276/abstract