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The influence of militant group structure and inter-militant competition upon the effectiveness of targeted killings
Are targeted killings an effective strategy for combating militant groups? I add to the literature by accounting for variation in militant group structure and competition among militant groups as conditioning effects on the likely effectiveness of targeted killings. I do this cross-nationally by examining four cases: Colombia, Israel, Russia, and the United States (in the Afghanistan- Pakistan theater of operations). A dataset was constructed for each state’s program, containing information on militant attacks, targeted killings, and other relevant variables. Each case was examined between the years 2004 and 2011, using the day as the unit of analysis (N of 2922 observations in each case), and zero-inflated negative binomial regression (ZINB) as the statistical test. I found that the effectiveness of targeted killings was dependent upon the structure of militant groups and the existence of competition among militant groups (on the same side of a conflict). Specifically, targeted killings were less effective against decentralized organizations and under the conditions of inter-militant group competition; while targeted killings were more likely to be effective against centralized organizations that did not face competition.
Morehouse, Matthew Alan, "The influence of militant group structure and inter-militant competition upon the effectiveness of targeted killings" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3737111.