Researcher Max Abrahms has studied how drone strikes impact the operations of militant groups. In his recent study Leadership Matters: The Effects of Targeted Killings on Militant Groups Tactics, Abrahms examined militant groups operating in the Middle East and North Africa. He found that when these groups lacked centralized leadership, they were “ twice as likely to target civilians”. Abrahms also found that when their leadership is targeted and “degraded” by drone strikes, the militant groups become “significantly less discriminate in their targeting choices”. This often means the involvement of more civilians. Abrahms, an assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University, joins us to discuss his study.
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