New U.S. Military Tactic: Targeted Killings

As Obama's July 2011 deadline to begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan approaches, the U.S. military has begun to shift its strategy in the region away from counterinsurgency—instead, focusing on targeting and killing known Al-Qaeda and Taliban members. In the past five months, these commando raids have seen success, taking out 130 insurgents. Some officials see potential in this counterterrorism strategy, as it may help to expedite a political settlement deal with the Taliban; officials hope that it will pressure the Taliban to come forward and begin negotiating with the U.S. A military official told The New York Times that Afghan President and U.S. military officials have commenced discussing “to what degree these people [the Taliban] are going to be allowed to have a seat at the table...The only real solution to Afghanistan has got to be political.”