I have an article in the latest edition of World Defence Systems on the use of targeted killings to contain al-Qaeda, it is available (for free) online here.
McDonald J (2012) Containing terrorist networks – the role of targeted killings. World Defence Systems 2012(1): 21-23 [link]
Targeted killings work, as Byman tells us, but they don’t solve conflicts. Thinking about targeted killings in terms of containment allows us to consider the long term detrimental effect that such programmes have on a democracy. While proponents of the targeted killings programme would like to frame this debate in terms of purely military activity, I think that targeted killings pose questions that challenge the political philosophies that underpin liberal democracies.