Small Wars Journal

U.S. Develops New Blueprint for Hunting Terrorists

U.S. Develops New Blueprint for Hunting Terrorists by Greg Miller, Washington Post.

Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition matrix.”

The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones...



Thu, 11/01/2012 - 9:59pm

Everything about this is disturbing. An assassination program is just that. I suppose I don't have a moral objection to this, but I do have an issue with people believing that it is something other than an assassination program. More importantly, I have a problem with intel agencies doing targeting on an industrial scale. The intel community often forgets that their job is to advise. What tolerance for their operational work existed in the past was best left in the pursuit of information. Having the gate keepers to information be the arbiters of its use AND its users is somewhat perverse.

In any case, as a GPF guy and citizen of a republic I find the whole program as conceived a perversion justified by technocrats for the sake of efficiency.


Wed, 10/31/2012 - 7:37am

One wonders what would happen if AQ or another enemy posing a known threat to the USA, based itself in a high density, urban area – say Cairo or Lagos – where the local national state has no capability or will to act. Would the use of drone attacks be valid then?

I recommend you check:

FP Blog has a useful article marking the tenth anniversary of drones becoming a weapon and it ends with 'What was once considered an immediate response to an exceptional threat to the United States is now a permanent and institutionalized feature of U.S. foreign policy. Perhaps by November 3, 2022, policymakers and the American people will have noticed'.



Wed, 10/31/2012 - 2:22am

Not a bad article. Certainly we had a matrix of some kind prior to this. One line stuck a cord with me. Not an exact quote, "We are not going to be able to kill every bad guy". Absolutely true... But we should not stop trying. No we will probably never get every one. But we can get as many as we can and maybe keep some of those sitting on the fence, on the fence.