Killing Baghdadi: Decapitating the Islamic State Is No Silver Bullet

Fighters from the so-called Islamic State (IS) during a parade in Raqqa, Syria, undated photo (AP photo, Raqqa Media Center).
Fighters from the so-called Islamic State (IS) during a parade in Raqqa, Syria, undated photo (AP photo, Raqqa Media Center).

Last week, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, was reportedly wounded or killed in a U.S. airstrike. At this point is hard to know exactly what happened. After all, one of the big disadvantages of air power when it is used against insurgents and terrorists is that it is hard to gauge the actual impact on the ground. But even if this attempt to decapitate the extremist movement failed, the United States will certainly keep trying and eventually succeed. Given the utter barbarity of IS, no one on earth deserves […]

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