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To drone or not to drone : a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of the US's drone policy of targeted… Dur-e-Aden , Aden 2014

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TO DRONE OR NOT TO DRONE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTIVNESS OF THE US’S DRONE POLICY OF TARGETED KILLING IN THE CONTEXTS OF PAKISTAN AND YEMEN   by  Aden Dur-e-Aden  B.A., The University of British Columbia, 2013  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Political Science)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   November 2014  © Aden Dur-e-Aden, 2014 ii  Abstract Drones are the new game in the town of counter-terrorism. For their proponents, drones do the dirty job of killing the “bad guys” without causing much harm to the civilians. For their critics, drones desensitize the killing of human beings by creating a “PlayStation mentality.” In a world where the threat levels from transnational terrorist organizations are continuously evolving, and the mistakes of the past policies continue to haunt, it is important to critically analyze the effects of the new tools of counter-terrorism before arguing for or against their continuous use.  For the purposes of this paper, I review the existing literature on the issue of targeted killing (the primary reason for which drones are employed), and build up on those arguments to formulate a drone-specific theoretical framework. In order to test my hypotheses, I conduct a “structured, focused case comparison” of the US’s drone policy of targeted killing in the contexts of Pakistan and Yemen. I find that drones are an effective tool of targeted killing against a hierarchical organization which has a predatory and violent relationship with the population in which it operates.  However, due to the secrecy surrounding this issue and its high political salience, current datasets are incomplete and suffer from significant errors, making this study only a start of a future project which will look into this issue more rigorously. I conclude this paper by mentioning these caveats, along with the suggestions on which variables future research should focus on, in order to thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of the targeted killing strategy using drones.   iii  Preface This thesis is the original, unpublished, intellectual work of the author, Aden Dur-e-Aden.  iv  Table of Contents  Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... iv List of Tables ............................................................................................................................... vii List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................................. viii Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... ix Dedication .......................................................................................................................................x 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................1 2. US’s Rationales and the Drone Policy ......................................................................................3 2.1 Why Drones? ........................................................................................................................ 3 2.2 US’s Drone Policy ................................................................................................................ 4 3. Research Question .....................................................................................................................7 4. Targeted Killing in the Existing Literature .............................................................................8 4.1 Stated Rationales in Favour of Targeted Killing .................................................................. 8 4.1.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization .................................................... 8 4.1.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization ........................................................................... 11 4.1.3 Reaction of the Local Population ................................................................................. 12 4.2 Stated Rationales Against Targeted Killing ........................................................................ 14 4.2.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization .................................................. 14 4.2.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization ........................................................................... 15 4.2.3 Reaction of the Local Population ................................................................................. 17 v  5. Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses ...............................................................................19 5.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization ......................................................... 19 5.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization .................................................................................. 21 5.3 Reaction of the Local Population ........................................................................................ 23 6. Selected Cases and their Contexts ..........................................................................................27 6.1 Pakistan ............................................................................................................................... 27 6.2 Yemen ................................................................................................................................. 30 7. Research Design .......................................................................................................................34 7.1 Variables ............................................................................................................................. 36 7.1.1 Official Relationship with the US ................................................................................ 37 7.1.2 State Capacity .............................................................................................................. 37 7.1.3 Military Capacity ......................................................................................................... 37 7.1.4 State Sponsorship of Terrorism ................................................................................... 38 8. Data and Analysis ....................................................................................................................40 8.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization ......................................................... 40 8.1.1 Pakistan ........................................................................................................................ 40 8.1.2 Yemen .......................................................................................................................... 45 8.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization .................................................................................. 47 8.2.1 Pakistan ........................................................................................................................ 49 8.2.1.1 AQC vs. the US Homeland ................................................................................... 49 8.2.1.2 AQC vs. the US and Allies (i.e. Pakistan) ............................................................ 50 8.2.1.3 Pakistani Taliban vs. the US Homeland ............................................................... 51 8.2.1.4 Pakistani Taliban vs. the US and Allies (i.e. Pakistan) ......................................... 52 vi  8.2.2 Yemen .......................................................................................................................... 53 8.2.2.1 AQAP vs. the US Homeland ................................................................................ 53 8.2.2.2 AQAP vs. the US and Allies (i.e. Yemen) ............................................................ 54 8.3 Reaction of the Local Population ........................................................................................ 55 8.3.1 Pakistan ........................................................................................................................ 56 8.3.1.1 Local Recruits ....................................................................................................... 57 8.3.1.2 National Recruits .................................................................................................. 61 8.3.1.3 Foreign Recruits .................................................................................................... 62 8.3.2 Yemen .......................................................................................................................... 65 8.3.2.1 Local Recruits ....................................................................................................... 65 8.3.2.2 National Recruits .................................................................................................. 68 8.3.2.3 Foreign Recruits .................................................................................................... 70 9. Data Limitations.......................................................................................................................72 10. Conclusion ..............................................................................................................................74 Bibliography .................................................................................................................................76  vii  List of Tables Table 1 US Drone Strikes vs. AQC Suicide Attacks in Pakistan ................................................. 50 Table 2 US Drone Strikes vs. TTP Suicide Attacks in Pakistan ................................................... 52 Table 3 US Drone Strikes vs. AQAP Suicide Attacks in Yemen ................................................. 54  viii  List of Abbreviations AQAP: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula AQC: Al Qaeda Central or Al Qaeda Core  AQIM: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb  CIA: Central Intelligence Agency  FATA: Federally Administered Tribal Areas  FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation  FCR: Frontier Crimes Regulation HVT: High Value Target  ISI: Inter-Services Intelligence  ISIS: Islamic State of Iraq and Syria  IMU: Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan  JSOC: Joint Special Operations Command LeT: Lashkar-e-Tayyiba NYT: The New York Times  TTP: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (or the Pakistani Taliban)  ix  Acknowledgements I offer my sincere gratitude to the faculty, staff and my fellow students at UBC, who have inspired me to continue my work in the field of Political Science. I owe particular thanks to Dr. Brian Job, whose continuous guidance, comments and questions throughout my thesis writing process helped in making my good ideas better, and eliminating the bad ones. I am very grateful to him for reading many, many earlier drafts of this work. This research could not have been possible without his help.   I would also like to thank Dr. Arjun Chowdhury for lending his time to be the second reader, despite being on leave this term. It was in his undergraduate class that I first encountered the concepts of international security in general, and counter-insurgency in particular. I will always be grateful to him for giving me a solid foundation of this field, and for taking away my ability to not think critically about the complex security issues around the world.  x  Dedication For Sartaj Dada, who lost 17 members of his family to a suicide attack in Peshawar when they were all out shopping for a family wedding; For the mother of Fiza Malik, who lost her 25 year old daughter in a suicide attack in Islamabad; For John Tariq, who lost his father in a suicide attack at his church; For Aitizaz Hasan, who gave up life while stopping a terrorist from blowing up his school; and countless other victims of terrorism in Pakistan, who endure the brutal, brutal violence of religious extremists every day, yet do not choose the path of violence in response, proving how cowardly, hollow and weak the terrorists’ narratives are.    1    1. Introduction Since 9/11, the international security has become obsessed with terrorism. Powerful states are finding it hard to battle an asymmetrical conflict where the enemy is indistinguishable from the local populations, does not wear any uniforms, does not abide by the laws of conventional warfare, is comparatively weak, yet is able to inflict significant damage on its intended targets when it can. The military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq under the pretext of “war against terrorism” were accompanied with huge losses of blood and treasure. This led to a recognition that the existing strategies of conventional warfare were outdated to fight this menace and there was a need for a different strategy; that is when drones entered the equation of the current “war on terror.”  Drones are hailed by their proponents as a panacea for fighting modern terrorism, while critics blast them as a technology which sanitizes the killing of human beings by creating a “PlayStation mentality.”1 From a research point of view then, this topic becomes very interesting since few academics have tried to analyze the issue from a scholarly perspective along with its several caveats. In the current international security climate where terrorist groups are evolving at a very quick pace, and states feel compelled to take lethal action against groups who threaten their security despite being located inside the borders of another state (e.g. ISIS in Iraq and Syria), there is a need to understand the previous effects of this technology before it is employed in the future theatres of conflict.  The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of the US’s drone policy of targeted killing in the contexts of Pakistan and Yemen i.e. the countries                                                  1 Brooks, “The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications.” 2    where the US is not officially at war with the state, but feels threatened by certain terrorist groups operating inside their borders, and as a result employs drones as a targeted killing tool against them.     I begin by discussing the rationales that are behind the current US’s drone policy. I then provide a brief overview of what the policy actually is and how it is applied in both the “traditional” and the “non-traditional” battlefields. I then narrow down my focus on the use of drones in the “non-traditional” battlefields, where drones are specifically being used as a targeted killing tool for counter-terrorism purposes. I proceed to ask the question about the effectiveness of the US’s drone policy by focusing on the following three dimensions: 1) Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization; 2) Capacity of a Terrorist Organization; 3) Reaction of the Local Population where the drones are operated. I review the existing debate that discusses the issue of targeted killing as a counter-terrorism strategy, before outlining my own theoretical framework and hypotheses which focus specifically on the use of drones. I argue that drones are an effective tool of targeted killing against hierarchically organized terrorist groups who have a predatory and violent relationship with the population in which they operate.  I test my hypotheses by conducting a “structured, focused case-comparison” of Pakistan and Yemen based on the preliminary data. I conclude the paper by analyzing my findings, mentioning the limitations of the existing data, and suggesting avenues for future research.       3    2. US’s Rationales and the Drone Policy 2.1 Why Drones?    While US is not the only country in the world that is utilizing drones as a tool for inflicting lethal force, it is the country whose drone policy is the most prominent and have come under heavy scrutiny in recent years, making it the focus of this paper. The US administration gives the following rationales for their reliance on drones:  First, drones are seen as the best alternative to putting US’s soldiers in danger. Second, drones can hover over an area for long periods of time, especially in the places where it is not always possible to send in troops.2 Third, they can be used at moments when the window of opportunity is narrow, the target is fleeting and there is not enough time to coordinate actions with the troops on the ground or the government of the targeted country.3 Fourth, since drones do not require a heavy American military foot print, this can change the perception of the US’s military as an invading force.4  Fifth, drones are cost-effective when compared to putting the US’s boots on the ground or using traditional manned aircrafts.5 Finally, and perhaps most importantly, drones significantly reduce the risk of harming innocent civilians.6  Along with the above mentioned advantages, Obama administration argues that drones have been very successful against Al Qaeda.7 Hence, from the US’s perspective, drones are achieving their required purpose i.e. degrading the capabilities of the terrorist organizations                                                  2 Byman, “Captures vs. Drones.”  3 McSally, “Prepared Statement.” 4 Jen Easterly, “Implications for Local and Western Strategies.” 5 Brooks, “The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications.” 6 Ibid., 2.  7 Benson, “CNN Fact Check.” 4    while limiting the harm to innocent civilians, so that the local support for these groups does not increase.  2.2 US’s Drone Policy  Just three days after the 9/11 attacks, the US’s Congress passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) act which authorized the President of the US to  “[U]se all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.”8  At the time, the Taliban government in Afghanistan was accused of harboring Al-Qaeda. Its refusal to end this policy was the rationale under which Afghanistan was invaded by the US and allied forces, making Afghanistan a “traditional” battlefield. The same AUMF is now being used to justify the US’s drone policy inside countries with whom the US is not officially at war with, such as: Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Mali and Philippines. These countries are termed as the “non-traditional” battlefields. 9  In a “traditional” battlefield like Afghanistan where the US is officially at war inside another country, the use of drones is part of a broader counter-insurgency policy. Thus, drones are treated as any other weapon a state would use at its disposal while engaging in a war as long as “their use is subject to the same requirements as the use of other lawful means and methods of warfare.”10                                                  8 Brooks, “The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications,” 6. 9 Brooks, “The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications.”  10 Ibid., 8. 5    However, in the “non-traditional” battlefields like Pakistan and Yemen, the US’s use of drones is part of its counter-terrorism policy. While Al-Qaeda and its affiliates in these countries are primarily involved in local insurgencies, the US considers them a threat because they continue to threaten attacks against the US homeland and its assets abroad.11 It is the use of drones in these particular “non-traditional” battlefields which is the focus of this paper.  The US’s drone program in the “non-traditional” battlefields is divided between the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (or JSOC, which is a subunit of the US Department of Defence). “Although drone strikes carried out by the two organizations presumably target the same people, the organizations have different authorities, policies, accountability mechanisms, and oversight.”12 In the absence of a clear authority, and the covert nature of the program due to the involvement of the CIA, accurate information about the US’s drone policy in “non-traditional” battlefields is hard to track down.  According to the publicly available media reports, there is a “Terror Tuesday” meeting in the White House every week where Obama and some of his closest associates meet and go over the pictures and the biographies of Al-Qaeda suspects. After much deliberation, certain names are put on a “kill list,” making these people a legitimate target for capturing or killing. Obama personally “signs off on every strike in Yemen and Somalia and also on the more complex and risky strikes in Pakistan — about a third of the total.”13  It is important to clarify the difference between the two types of drone strikes. “Personality” strikes target the individuals whose identities are known. “Signature strikes” target                                                  11 The White House, “National Strategy.” 12 Zenko, “Transferring CIA Drone Strikes.” 13 Becker and Shane, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves.” 6    individuals whose “‘pattern of life activity’ would seem to indicate that they are involved in some militant/terrorist activity,” but their identities are not known.14 All drone strikes, including the more controversial signature strikes, must be supported by at least two sources of verifying intelligence.15 The particular policy of signature strikes has given rise to accusations that the Obama administration considers all “military-aged men” in a strike zone as combatants and hence, a legitimate target of drone strikes.16  However, the administration has clarified that before proceeding with any strike, it takes precautions to make sure that non-combatants will not be injured or killed and therefore, recognizes that “males of military age maybe non-combatants.”17   Currently, drones are not only being used to kill “high-value” terrorist leaders (a strategy known as decapitation), but also middle and lower level operatives to afflict attrition on an organization, as well as to deter prospective recruits from joining a terrorist group.18 Therefore, I use the term “targeted killing” as opposed to “decapitation” to describe the US’s drone policy.                                                    14 Williams, “Inside the Murky World.” 15 Ibid.  16 Greenwald, “‘Militants’: Media Propaganda.” 17 The White House, “Fact Sheet: US Policy Standards.” The quoted information is in the footnote number 1 of the document.  18 Mudd, “Fear Factor.” 7    3. Research Question The puzzle that this paper confronts is as follows: From the perspective of the US, to what extent its current drone policy of targeted killing is being effective, specifically in the contexts of Pakistan and Yemen? I judge the “effectiveness” of this policy along the following three dimensions:  1) Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization   2) Capacity of a Terrorist Organization  3) Reaction of the Local Population where the drones are operated.                 8    4. Targeted Killing in the Existing Literature Before proceeding with my own argument, I review the general debate about the strategy of targeted killing along the three dimensions mentioned above. Drones are seen as a new way of achieving the same goals (e.g. killing terrorist leaders), while still confronting the problems of the traditional modes of targeted killing (e.g. civilian casualties).  4.1 Stated Rationales in Favour of Targeted Killing 4.1.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization  Terrorist leaders face a security-control dilemma. If they want to exert control over their operatives, they have to continuously communicate with them, increasing the risk that such communication will be intercepted by the counter-terrorism officials. On the other hand, if they want to maximize their security to ensure their survival, they will be unable to exert a tight level of control over their operatives, risking divisions or rogue behaviour on part of their operatives.19 Hence, depending on its objectives and the external threats it faces, a terrorist group can organize either into a hierarchical or a network structure.  A hierarchical structure is like a pyramid where the leaders occupy the very top spots, followed by an active cadre that carries out the organization’s missions, active supporters that provide logistical and financial support to the organization and finally, passive supporters who sympathize with the group’s objectives.20  In this structure, leaders are able to maintain clear command and control over their operatives, which reduces the chances that individual operatives                                                  19 Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma. 20 Farkasch, “Terrorist Structures.” Available at http://rfarkasch.com/pol230/BLS393Terror/terrorist_structures.htm 9    would go around doing things that their leaders do not want them to do.21 These organizations can also manage their financial and human resources with greater efficiency by reducing the redundancy of functions, training and targets.22  However, despite its many advantages, “hierarchical groups are vulnerable to decapitation strategies.”23 Killing a leader in a hierarchical structure advances the demise of a terrorist organization; since due to the loss of a guiding ideologue, the internal cohesion of the organization is undermined, and it’s planning and coordinating capabilities are degraded. Recent research by Patrick Johnston suggests that killing insurgent leaders is likely to be more effective than capturing them, and it increases the probability of defeating an insurgency by 25-30 percent.24  Second, replacing competent leaders is not as easy as is sometimes believed. Terrorist leaders fear “being removed from power by their own group” and hence, “hesitate to provide sub-ordinates with the knowledge and skills to run the organization in their place.”25 This complicates the ability of the successor to run the organization as effectively as their predecessor.26  Third, due to the continuous targeting of the leaders, new leaders are more likely to remain in hiding to ensure their survival.27 The group would also have to spend more resources                                                  21 Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma; Heger et al, “Organizing for Resistance.”  22 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign.” 23 Jones, “A Persistent Threat,” 20.  24 Johnston, “Does Decapitation Work?” 75-77.  25 Price, “Targeting Top Terrorists,” 18-19. 26 Ibid., 19. 27 Byman, “Do Targeted Killings Work?” 10    for their protection, “a move that ultimately detracts from its ability to conduct terrorist attacks.”28 Fourth, an important goal of targeted killing is to increase the principal-agent problems in a terrorist organization. In the absence of clear orders from a leader, frequently “local units end up taking actions that lead to conflict with other organizations and alienate non-combatants.”29 They also become inefficient in terms of managing their human and financial resources.30 Therefore, even if a hierarchical organization unravels into a network as a consequence of targeted killing of its leaders, a “network based organization [still] remains mostly unsuited for carrying out complex tasks that require communication, cooperation and, most significantly, professional training.”31  Finally, the strategy of targeted killing is not limited to the targeting of terrorist leaders, but can also target the middle and lower level members of a terrorist organization. Middle managers play an important part in “strengthening ties and facilitating information” between the top and the bottom members of a terrorist organization.32 Moreover, it is often the middle and lower level operatives who possess the critical technical skills and actually carry out attacks.33 Continuous targeting of these operatives, along with the organization’s leadership, can significantly weaken a terrorist group.                                                    28 Price, “Targeting Top Terrorists,” 32.  29 Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma. 7 30 Ibid., 8. 31 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 8. 32 Ibid., 9. 33 Mudd, “Fear Factor.”  11    4.1.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization  The capacity of a terrorist organization is demonstrated by how frequently it can launch attacks, and how lethal and damaging those attacks are. This is dependent on the expertise of its operatives and their ability to coordinate. The goal of targeted killing is to remove both these advantages, so that a terrorist group’s fighting capacity is severely degraded.34  Generally, a hierarchical structure is “more effective in terms of lethality.”35 An empirical study based on an examination of over 19,000 terrorist attacks attributed the greater level of lethality of hierarchical terrorist organizations to three reasons: i) centralized command and control; ii) presence of accountability mechanisms; iii) specialized functions of operatives within the organization.36 Hence, whenever the operational environment allows, “terrorist groups choose greater levels of hierarchy.”37  Due to these reasons, Jacob Shapiro argues that a change in the structure of an organization i.e. away from a hierarchy to a network, could actually signal success from counter-terrorism perspective, since a change in the structure affects the capacity of a terrorist organization to carry out lethal attacks.38 In his research, Patrick Johnston found that killing insurgent leaders decreased the capacity of those terrorist organizations by reducing both the frequency and the lethality of their attacks.39                                                  34 Dear, “Beheading the Hydra,” 298. 35 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 7. 36 Ibid., 7-8. 37 Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma, 17.  38 Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma.  39 Johnston, “Does Decapitation Work?” 12    Similarly, targeted killing of the middle and lower level operatives degrades the capacity of a terrorist organization. Daniel Byman argues that contrary to the popular myth, the number of skilled terrorists is actually quite limited and they are not easy to replace. Thus, even if a terrorist group is able to attract more recruits as a “backlash” to targeted killings, “lacking expertise, these new recruits will not pose the same kind of threat.”40 He found that in the case of Hamas, while the number of attacks went up during the second intifada in response to Israel’s targeted killing policy, the lethality of those attacks went down, “suggesting that the attacks themselves became far less effective.”41  4.1.3 Reaction of the Local Population Any use of violence on part of the state has the potential to inflict “collateral damage” on the civilian population. When civilians are hurt in a conflict, especially by the policies of the state, it is argued that their grievances against the state are increased and they are driven into the hands of the insurgent/terrorist organization. This process is known as the “accidental guerilla”42 syndrome, and it is one of the biggest critiques of the targeted killing strategy.    The proponents of targeted killing do recognize this reality. However, their argument is that despite these inevitable costs, it is still one of the most discriminate method of warfare.43 In an ideal condition, terrorist leaders would always be captured alive, tried in a court of law and then sentenced for their crimes. Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world.44 Therefore, once a decision is made that there is no alternative to using lethal force while dealing with a terrorist                                                  40 Byman, “Do Targeted Killings Work?” 41 Ibid.  42 Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerilla.  43 Brooks, “What’s Not Wrong.”  44 Cronin, How Terrorism Ends, 17.  13    organization, “it’s hard to see the problem with targeted killing. Should we prefer untargeted killing?”45 Secondly, the “accidental guerilla” syndrome seems to ignore the relationship between the terrorist groups and the population among which they operate. Oftentimes, these groups are involved in carrying out horrific violence on the local population. Jason Lyall notes that sometimes population can in fact blame the insurgents for the state’s use of violence in their area. This can drive a wedge between the population and the insurgents, and raises the possibility that the population will side with the state.46  Third, in order to carry out their operations, terrorist organizations not only need recruits to replenish their lost members, but also logistical support from the local population in the form of food, safe houses, intelligence, and protection from law-enforcement agencies.47 Therefore, the “accidental guerilla” logic implies that it should be the members of the local population, the one that is actually getting affected by a state’s use of violence, who should be providing support to the terrorist groups. Yet, this is not always the case. In the case of Iraq, “fewer than 10 percent of the suicide attackers have been Iraqi nationals”48 and local tribes actually fought Al Qaeda at various points.49 On the other hand, most of the attacks that did target US occupation forces in Iraq were not carried out by Iraqis who, theoretically, should be the most affected by the occupation, but instead by Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Kuwaiti, North African, and other foreign                                                  45 Brooks, “What’s Not Wrong.” 46 Lyall, “Does Indiscriminate Violence Incite,” 337-338. 47 Bloom, “Dying to Kill,” 27. 48 Ibid., 34. It’s important to mention here that this data is from 2005 and there is a possibility that the number changed in the following years of the conflict.  49 Patraeus, “How We Won in Iraq.” 14    jihadists.50 While the support for terrorist groups by outside patrons is still a concern, it is hard to argue that “accidental guerilla” syndrome is at work here, especially when the people who are the most victimized by this policy are not the ones joining these groups en masse.   4.2 Stated Rationales Against Targeted Killing 4.2.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization   Opponents of this strategy argue that even if targeted killing results in immediate tactical gains, states should also pay attention to the second and third order effects of this strategy.51 First, there is a possibility that a dead leader would be replaced by an even dangerous one. “In 1973, Israeli agents killed Mohamed Boudia, and Algerian who had orchestrated Palestinian terrorist operations in Western Europe. He was replaced by Carlos (“the jackal”), who was much worse.”52  Secondly, targeted killing is not an effective way of dealing with groups who are able to transmit their ideology across generations.53 Because Al-Qaeda is one of the organizations that has been successful in this regard, this has led some experts to believe that Al Qaeda can easily replace its leaders in the face of targeted killing. Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst, argues that targeted killing against Al Qaeda is “similar to going after a beehive one bee at a time. They would not destroy the hive.”54  Third, if a government decides that it needs a negotiating partner to find an end to a conflict, it may want to enact policies where the leaders are alive and able to exert control over                                                  50 Moghadam, “Suicide Terrorism,” 720. 51 Cronin, How Terrorism Ends, 25. 52 Ibid., 26. 53 Cronin, “How Al Qaeda Ends,” 23. 54 Woodward, “Obama’s Wars,” 106. 15    their operatives.55 Killing leaders in these instances can result in an organization being divided into various factions, with each pursuing violence according to their somewhat different and/or modified goals. From a counter-terrorism perspective, it will become even harder to detect and eliminate all the different nodes.56   Fourth, the repeated use of targeted killing might only end up killing those individuals who are unable to maintain a secretive profile, leaving the most competent ones alive.57 Moreover, in response to the losses of specialized individuals, terrorist organizations will start training more than one individual for the same role, especially if that role is vital to the functioning of an organization.58  Finally, an important argument against targeted killing is that capturing terrorist operatives is better, as their interrogation provides valuable intelligence on the rest of the group, leading to further arrests and the prevention of future attacks.59 4.2.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization After the death of a terrorist group’s leader, the smaller cells can defect from the group and create “dangerous, unintended consequences.”60 While it is possible that smaller factions become weaker and unable to carry out devastating attacks, they can also become more violent than the mother organization.61 The break-away groups might want to “outbid” each other in order to compete for money, recruits and influence among their intended audience.62 Bruce                                                  55 Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma, 12; Cronin, How Terrorism Ends, 26.  56 Byman, “Do Targeted Killings Work?” Cronin, How Terrorism Ends.  57 Dear, “Beheading the Hydra,” 299. 58 Ibid., 303. 59 Cronin, How Terrorism Ends, 17.  60 Bloom, “Dying to Kill,” 44. 61 Cronin, How Terrorism Ends, 26. 62 Bloom, “Dying to Kill,” 44.  16    Hoffman notes that during the second intifada, Fatah’s al Aqsa martyrs’ Brigade carried out more suicide attacks in the succeeding four months of their first attack in 2003, than Islamic Jihad and Hamas combined in the previous 2.5 years.63 This means that instead of degrading the capacity of a terrorist group, targeted killing can in fact lead to an increase in both the frequency and the lethality of terrorist attacks.  After working with a dataset of over 298 incidents of leadership targeting from 1945-2004, Jenna Jordan did not find any strong evidence that targeted killing degrades the capacity of a terrorist organization.64 She noticed that in the case of ETA, “decapitation [did] not seem to have a consistent effect on number of incidents [and] attacks generally became more deadly in the years immediately following decapitation.”65 Similarly in the case of FARC, “there [did] not seem to be a direct correlation between decapitation and frequency of attacks…and little effect on the ability of FARC to inflict damage.”66 Specifically in relation to the targeted killing policy of the US across the borders of another state, opponents argue that even if they decrease the capacity of a terrorist organization to carry out attacks against the US homeland, they lead to the destabilization of the states in which they occur. This threatens the security of the US assets and interests abroad, and can also be dangerous for the US homeland security in the long run. Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent, argues that if as a result of this policy, the destabilization of the targeted states increases and they                                                  63 Hoffman, “Al Qaeda’s Curious Comeback.” 64 Jordan, “When Heads Roll.”  65 Ibid., 750. 66 Ibid., 752-753. 17    continue to provide safe havens for these groups, then this policy is not being effective in degrading the capacity of a terrorist organization.67  4.2.3 Reaction of the Local Population  Dismissing the precision claims of its proponents, critics argue that targeted killing is not as “targeted” as the name implies. The “collateral damage” inflicted by this strategy is much higher than actually realized or revealed, raising serious questions about the efficacy of this policy. Developing on the “accidental guerilla” syndrome mentioned before, Kilcullen and Exum make the argument that every one of the dead non-combatants as a result of targeted killing represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement.68  Secondly, sometimes this policy is undertaken without confirming the identity of the individuals against whom it is directed. Kocher et al. note that “even when counter-insurgent actors want to use violence with discrimination, perverse selection mechanisms can generate a high proportion of innocent victims.”69  Third, the criticism of targeted killing is not just limited to the civilian casualties’ argument. Even if high value targets (HVTs) such as the terrorist leaders are taken out, it is not clear if it helps the effectiveness of this policy on the “reaction of the local population” dimension. Audry K. Cronin argues that “killing a terrorist leader may increase publicity for the cause and create a martyr that could then attract new members to the organization.”70 In the case                                                  67 Soufan, “Where is Al Qaeda Today?”  68 Kilcullen and Exum, “Death From Above.”  69 Kocher et al., “Aerial Bombing,” 203.   70 Jordan, “When Heads Roll,” 736. 18    of Israel, it was observed that “killing terrorist leaders increases the level of recruitment to Palestinian terrorist organizations more effectively than the deaths of ordinary Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks.”71  Finally, while it is true that the terrorist organizations often inflict harm on the local population, it is not clear if the population’s reaction to all sorts of violence is the same. In a survey experiment conducted in the context of Afghanistan, Jason Lyall found that civilian responses to violence in an insurgency are asymmetrical. His research concluded that “Afghans who experience violence at the hands of NATO forces become less supportive of these forces and more supportive of the Taliban. But Afghans who experience violence at the hands of the Taliban do not react nearly as strongly against the Taliban.”72                                                      71 Cronin, “How Terrorism Ends,” 26. 72 Lyall, “How Hard is it to Win.” 19    5. Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses For the purposes of this research project, I devise a framework that analyzes the effectiveness of the current US’s drone policy on the three dimensions mentioned above, specifically in the contexts of Pakistan and Yemen.  5.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization  If drone strikes are an effective tool of targeted killing, a traditional hierarchical organization should be significantly weakened after its leader is killed. A second possibility is that instead of crippling, a traditional hierarchical organization would adapt in response to drone strikes by decentralizing into a diffused, cellular network. I argue that such an organizational adaptation shows the effectiveness of drones because a cellular organization is not as effective as a hierarchical organization to carry out complex, coordinated and lethal attacks.73 A third possibility is that some organizations might want to keep their hierarchy intact because of the benefits associated with this structure, despite its increased vulnerability to targeted killing by drones. In that case, they would respond by becoming more tightly hierarchical.74  This means that while the shape of the structure would remain the same, with leaders at the top maintaining command and control, the organization will start to purge operatives within its ranks suspected of providing drone-guiding intelligence, or otherwise seen as less useful.  This should be considered effective from a counter-terrorism perspective because it increases mistrust between the members of an organization, affects its internal cohesion and makes the organization vulnerable to infighting.                                                   73 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 8. 74 I thank Dr. Brian Job for this point.  20    These arguments yield the following hypothesis:  H1: If drone strikes are an effective tool of targeted killing, a hierarchical terrorist organization whose operatives are being killed, should either: a) weaken subsequent to drone strikes; or b) adapt a diffused cellular structure subsequent to drone strikes; or  c) become more tightly hierarchical subsequent to drone strikes.   If this hypothesis is correct, then in my case studies, depending on the mechanism unfolding, I should observe: a) crippling of the terrorist organization targeted by drones; b1) an increase in the number of nodes of the targeted terrorist organization due to the loss of command and control by the leaders; and b2) a decrease in the observed communication between the leaders and their operatives in the organization targeted by drones; c) an increase in the number of purged suspected fellow operatives.  On the other hand, if a terrorist organization is able to withstand decapitation and attrition inflicted by the drone strikes while keeping its hierarchy intact, drones are not being effective in degrading its organizational structure.  H01: If drone strikes are not an effective targeted killing tool, the hierarchical structure of an organization would remain intact in its original form subsequent to drone strikes, and it would replace dead leaders without much difficulty.  If this mechanism is operating, then in my case studies, I should observe: dead leaders being replaced with equally or more competent leaders, who are able to keep the hierarchical structure of the organization intact in its original form.75                                                    75 It is important to mention here that since the organizations present in my case studies were hierarchically organized prior to their targeting by drones, the focus of the current paper is on the hierarchical structure and its response to drone attacks. It is possible that not all organizations are hierarchically organized at the time when they are targeted by drones. Therefore, to determine the impact of drones on other organizational structures, there is a need to formulate a separate set of hypotheses and observable implications, which this current project is not doing at this point. 21    5.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization  Previous research has used the variables of “frequency” and “lethality” of attacks to judge an organization’s fighting capacity. Frequency refers to the number of attacks that an organization is able to carry out in a particular time period, and lethality refers to the average number of human casualties inflicted during those attacks.  Therefore, if drone strikes are effective in degrading the fighting capacity of a terrorist organization, there should be a decrease in both the frequency and the lethality of terrorist attacks subsequent to drone strikes. A second possibility is that while the lethality of terrorist attacks decreases following drone strikes, their frequency still increases. This would happen if an organization loses its hierarchical structure and is not able to coordinate complex attacks that can inflict more damage; yet the frequency of those attacks increases because of an increase in the number of nodes, as an organization modifies into a cellular, network structure in response to drones.76  These arguments produce the following hypothesis:  H2: If drone strikes are an effective targeted killing tool, the capacity of the targeted terrorist organizations to inflict damage: a) should decrease in terms of both frequency and lethality subsequent to drone strikes; or b) should decrease in lethality despite observing the same frequency or an increase in the frequency subsequent to drone strikes.                                                    76 A third possibility is that while the frequency of terrorist attacks decreases, their lethality increases. However, I think that such a scenario shows an ineffectiveness of drones, as opposed to effectiveness. Suppose that there were 4 suicide attacks before drone strikes which ended up killing 100 civilians. If after drone strikes, the number of terrorist attacks decreases to 2, but those attacks end up killing 200 civilians, then drones are not very effective in decreasing the capacity of a terrorist organization since more people are now dying, despite a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks.   22    If this hypothesis is true, then in my case studies, I should observe: a) a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks carried out by the targeted organization, as well as the average number of human casualties inflicted during those attacks; b) a decrease in the average number of human casualties even if there is an increase in the number of terrorist attacks.  Conversely, if drone strikes are not being effective in degrading the fighting capacity of a terrorist organization, the frequency and lethality of the terrorist attacks would remain the same following drone strikes. Another, more dangerous possibility is that subsequent to drone strikes, there is an increase in both the frequency and the lethality of terrorist attacks. This could happen if a hierarchical organization adapts into a cellular network, and the breakaway nodes start “outbidding” each other in order to prove their commitment to the cause.77 A third possibility is that while the frequency of the terrorist attacks decreases because some of them get disrupted by drone strikes, there is an increase in the lethality of the terrorist attacks that do end up happening.  These arguments yield the following hypothesis:  H02: If drone strikes are not an effective tool for targeted killing, the capacity of the targeted terrorist organizations to inflict damage: a) Would remain the same in terms of both frequency and lethality as it was before drone strikes; or b) Would increase in terms of both frequency and lethality following drone strikes; or   c) Would decrease in frequency but increase in lethality subsequent to drone strikes.  If any of these mechanisms are operating, then I should observe in my case studies that: a) the number of the terrorist attacks and the average number of the human casualties in those attacks is the same as they were before drone strikes; b) there is an increase in both the number                                                  77 Bloom, “Dying to Kill.” 23    of attacks and the average number of civilian casualties inflicted during those attacks; c) there is a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, but the average number of human casualties inflicted during those attacks increases.  5.3 Reaction of the Local Population By local population, I mean the people who are closest to the conflict and are directly affected by it. For example, if a conflict is limited to one part of a country, by “local population,” I mean the people of that particular area and not the whole population of that country.  I argue that the reaction of the local population to drone strikes is contingent on the relationship between the targeted terrorist group and the population. Drones are more likely to be effective on this dimension if the targeted terrorist group has a predatory and violent relationship with the local population in which they operate.   Living closest to the militants, members of the local population are most aware and exposed to the workings of a terrorist group. If a terrorist organization is committing horrific violence on them, the local population has an interest in seeing it removed. Therefore, if drone strikes are an effective targeted killing tool, the support base of the targeted terrorist organization should decrease with the members of the local population, even if the local population incurs some “collateral damage” as a result of drones.  However, to truly assess the effectiveness of drone strikes on this dimension, it is also important to look at the reaction of the national and foreign populations, since they provide an alternative source for replenishing the losses of the terrorist organization. By national population, I mean the citizens of the same country which is being targeted by drones, but who are from the non-drone targeted areas. This also includes people who have ancestral or familial connections to 24    the drone targeted country, despite being a citizen or resident of a foreign country e.g. a British or American citizen of Pakistani or Yemeni descent. By foreign population, I mean the people who are “foreign” to the targeted country, as in they have no ancestral or familial ties to it e.g. an Egyptian fighting in Pakistan or Yemen.  If drones are an effective tool for targeted killing, the number of the national and foreign recruits should decrease because of the attrition inflicted by drones. Furthermore, the use of drones should act as a deterrent to potential recruits, giving out the message that if you associate with a particular terrorist organization, you would be targeted.   These arguments yield the following hypothesis:  H3: If drone strikes are an effective tool for targeted killing, the support base of the targeted terrorist organizations, as indicated by the apparent recruitment numbers, should decrease with the members of local, national and foreign populations subsequent to drone strikes.  To assess the impact of drones on the support base of these organizations, I focus on the factor of recruitment and use it as a proxy to determine various population’s reaction towards them. Therefore, if the above mentioned hypothesis is correct, then in my case studies, I should observe: a decrease in the number of local recruits, even when the population incurs civilian casualties from drones, and local population continuing to provide drone-guiding intelligence. I should also observe a decrease in the number of national and foreign recruits because of the attrition and deterrence inflicted by drones.   If drones are being ineffective as a targeted killing tool, the support base of the terrorist organization would remain the same with the members of local, national and foreign population. This would happen if a terrorist organization’s cause resonates with their target population and they have a working relationship with the local population in which they operate. These organizations will then be able to attract high-commitment recruits who are “dedicated to the 25    cause of the organization and willing to make costly investments today in return for the promise of rewards in the future.”78 Having a popular cause means that the number of national and foreign recruits would also remain the same, making the deterrence logic of drones ineffective. As a result, even if drones end up inflicting some attrition on the organization, they will not be as effective as they would have been if both attrition and deterrence logics were working in tandem.  Another possibility is that the civilian casualties inflicted by drones really are greater than the population would tolerate, resulting in the “accidental guerilla” syndrome. This means that the members of the local population would increase their support for the terrorist organization.79 An increase in the civilian casualties would also increase the support base of these organizations from national and foreign populations, who, while not directly being affected by drones, can “perceive” themselves to be under siege by drone violence and become committed to fight with the terrorist organization against their use.  Thus, I have the following hypothesis:  H03: If drone strikes are an ineffective targeted killing tool, the support base of the targeted terrorist organization, as indicated by the apparent recruitment numbers: a) Would remain the same with the members of local, national and foreign populations subsequent to drone strikes; or  b) Would increase with the members of local, national and foreign populations subsequent to drone strikes.   If any of these mechanisms is operating, then in my case studies, there should be evidence that: a) the number of local, national and foreign recruits is the same as it was before the drone                                                  78 Weinstein, Inside Rebellion, 9. 79 Here again, there needs to be some sort of a working relationship between the local population and the terrorist group. In this instance, the number of local recruits will increase (as opposed to remaining the same) because along with the recruits who were motivated by the cause of the organization, now even those locals will join the terrorist organization who were not motivated by the cause or the ideology of the organization before, but lost their loved ones to drone violence and have a desire for “revenge.” 26    strikes; b) the number of local, national and foreign recruits has increased subsequent to drone strikes.80                                                   80 One paradoxical yet very likely possibility is that, while the support base of a terrorist organization decreases with the members of the local population, it increases with the members of the national and foreign population. This would be the case when the local population, after observing the behavior of the terrorist organization closely, gets disillusioned by its tactics.  On the other hand, people who are not “on the ground” where these terrorist groups operate, can get motivated by a “perceived grievance” of the targeted population. While on the surface, this shows an ineffectiveness of drones, I argue that in such an instance, it is difficult to determine the extent to which drones play a part in motivating these national and foreign fighters. In other words, people who are motivated by a “perceived grievance,” can just as easily pick another issue which is also a cause of the said perceived grievance.  For example, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have used the issues of “apostate” regimes, not having enough Islamic law in the country, cooperation of the leaders in the Muslim World with the US, and US’s support for Israel in the same way as they are now using the issue of drones. What is the guarantee that stopping the drones would stop the movement of these fighters, considering that the other global issues would probably still be there? Can they not transfer this “perceived grievance” to any of these other issues? Hence, I think that if such a mechanism is operating, it is hard to argue that “accidental guerilla” syndrome is at work, since the support base is decreasing with the members of the local recruits (the ones who are losing their loved ones to drone violence). However, it is also difficult to conclude that drones are being effective since the support base from the national and foreign fighters is increasing. Hence, the impact of drones in such an instance remains indeterminate i.e. doesn’t tell clearly whether drones are being effective or ineffective on the dimension of “reaction of the population.”   27    6. Selected Cases and their Contexts In this section, I briefly outline the context situations inside Pakistan and Yemen in which the current US’s drone program is operating.  6.1 Pakistan Militancy inside Pakistan predates 9/11 and the subsequent US “war on terror.” As early as 1947-48, Pakistan’s military establishment started using “religiously motivated proxies to asymmetrically secure political and territorial gains vis-à-vis a seemingly hegemonic India.”81 Furthermore, the refusal of Afghanistan to recognize the Durand line as a permanent border between the two countries has always made Pakistan nervous about the emergence of Pashtun nationalism, which would end up engulfing Pakistan’s tribal areas and the Frontier province that borders Afghanistan. Therefore, Pakistan supported Islamist Pashtun groups in Afghanistan long before the Soviet invasion.82 When Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, with the help of the US and Saudi Arabia, a whole jihadi infrastructure was created in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).83 After the Soviet withdrawal, instead of adopting a policy of de-radicalization, Pakistan continued to use those religiously indoctrinated groups on two fronts: to maintain its influence inside Afghanistan and to continue its asymmetrical warfare with India.84                                                   81 Haider, “Ideologically Adrift,” 116. 82 Gall, The Wrong Enemy. 83 Jaspal, “Threat of Extremism.” 84 Gall, The Wrong Enemy.  28    During the 1980s and the 1990s, the objectives of the jihadi movements in Pakistan more or less aligned with the military establishment’s regional goals. However, when Pakistan allied with the US after 9/11, the behaviour of these militant organizations began to change.85  After the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the bulk of Al Qaeda and the Taliban fighters crossed the border into Pakistan and both organizations reconstituted themselves.86 While the Afghan Taliban focused on gaining their influence back in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda started to influence local militant groups in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and these groups started turning against the Pakistani state due to its cooperation with the US.87 In 2007, some forty militant leaders, commanding 40,000 fighters, came together and formed an organization with the name of the Pakistani Taliban, or TTP.88 While they pledge allegiance to Mullah Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, TTP is an organizationally distinct group which claims to have “embraced the global jihadi ideology of Al Qaeda.”89 Besides TTP, another important group in FATA is the Haqqani network which is accused of cooperating “closely with al Qaida for philosophical and tactical reasons, and it is blamed for some of the bloodiest attacks against civilians and U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.”90  There are also groups known as the “Punjabi Taliban” active in the tribal areas. These are members of the sectarian and anti-India militant groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT), whose leadership is based in the province of Punjab. While they do not always have an anti-state                                                  85 Hussain, “Battling Militancy.” 86 Gall, The Wrong Enemy.   87 Gall, The Wrong Enemy; Hussain, “Battling Militancy.” 88 Hussain, “Battling Militancy,” 138. 89 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 157. 90 Landay, “Obama’s Drone War.” 29    agenda, their operatives are accused of ideologically and operationally supporting the Taliban and Al Qaeda.91 Finally, non-Pakistani groups based in the tribal areas include cells from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Jihad, the Libyan Islamic fighters group and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement.92  This is the context in which the US is operating its drone program, which is currently limited to the tribal areas of Pakistan and is solely operated by the CIA. The US’s drone program in Pakistan started in 2004 and while the primary target is supposed to be Al Qaeda Core, drones have increasingly targeted operatives belonging to the organizations such as the Pakistani Taliban, the Haqqani Network and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.93 From the US’s perspective, there is close cooperation between these groups and Al Qaeda, making these organizations a legitimate target of drone strikes.94  The tribal areas of Pakistan are adjacent to Afghanistan, possess a very mountainous and rugged terrain and are Pashtun dominated.95 Instead of through the Pakistan’s constitution, FATA is governed by a special set of laws known as the Frontier Crimes Regulation (or FCR), enforced by the British in 1901. Under this set of laws, “FATA has no police forces; instead, paramilitary, military and tribal militia forces keep order. Thus the arrest of militants, collection of evidence, and subsequent prosecution in Pakistan’s courts is not a viable option in FATA.”96 Each agency is governed by a “political agent” (a government’s representative), who works with                                                  91 Gall, The Wrong Enemy; Atwan, After Bin Laden. 92 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 165. 93 Landay, “Obama’s Drone War;” New America Foundation, “Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis.” Available at  http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/pakistan/analysis 94 Mazzetti, The Way of the Knife, 227. 95 Gul, “Pakistan’s Tribal Regions.” 96 Fair, “Drones, Spies, Terrorists,” 226.  30    the tribal elders to carry out the administrative functions, and to maintain law and order.97 The human rights that are enshrined in the constitution for the citizens of the “settled” Pakistan do not apply to the residents of FATA and political parties are legally banned from functioning in the area.98 Finally, “under the FCR an entire family or clan can be punished just because one member has granted terrorists sanctuary in his home.”99 This is known as the “collective punishment” clause. Hence, “the Pakistani state is empowered to bulldoze entire villages and towns if any tribes refuse to hand over a wanted person to the state.”100 Foreign journalists cannot travel in the area without the approval of the Interior Ministry or an escort from the intelligence or military services, and even ordinary Pakistanis cannot visit the area legally unless they have family ties there.101 6.2 Yemen Al-Qaeda’s presence in Yemen predates 9/11.  While the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 captured international attention, the first reported attack by the Al Qaeda operatives inside Yemen was as early as 1992.102 Other reports have found Al-Qaeda’s operatives in Yemen linked to the East African embassy attacks in 1998, and even 9/11.103 Yemen always held a special status for Bin Laden due to being his ancestral homeland.104  Therefore, he was already                                                  97 Ibid., 224.  98 Taj, Taliban and Anti-Taliban, 33.  99 Fair, “Drones, Spies, Terrorists,” 225. 100 Taj, Taliban and Anti-Taliban, 3. 101 Fair, “Drones, Spies, Terrorists,” 224.  102 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 90-91. 103 Hull, High-Value Target, 15. 104 Ibid., 5. 31    preparing to relocate the Al Qaeda’s headquarters to Yemen, knowing that the organization would certainly be bombed out of Afghanistan as a response to 9/11.105  Even though “Al Qaeda central” migrated to Pakistan instead of moving to Yemen, some of its operatives continued to operate in Yemen and threatened the US’s interests in the country.106 As a result, Yemen was the first “non-traditional” battlefield where a drone strike was carried out in 2002, targeting Abu ali- Al Harithi, Al-Qaida’s senior leader in Yemen.107 Al Qaeda in Yemen suffered a “staggering blow”108 after that strike and by the summer of 2004, Al Qaeda’s network in Yemen had ceased to function.109  However, on February 3, 2006, twenty-three al Qaeda suspects escaped from a Yemeni prison, and went on to form the leadership of the Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen.110 Around the same time, Al Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia were escaping a government crackdown and were crossing the border into Yemen.111 Consequently, in 2009, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (or AQAP) was formed through a merger between the Al Qaeda’s Saudi and Yemeni branches. It is now considered as the most dangerous Al-Qaeda affiliate as it fights the Yemeni government, threatens western interests in the region and has actually attempted attacks on the US homeland.112                                                   105 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 89. 106 Hull, High-Value Target.  107 Ibid., 60. 108 Hull, High-Value Target, 62. 109 Ibid., 111. 110 McCormick, “Al-Qaeda Core.” 111 Atwan, After Bin-Laden, 83. 112 Ibid., 81. 32    The current leader of the AQAP is Nasser al-Wuhayshi, who was a close associate of Bin Laden and Zawahiri.113 Due to his past connections with Al Qaeda Central, he was appointed by Zawahiri to be the “general manager” of Al Qaeda Central in August 2013, which is the number 2 position in that organization.114 Since Wuhayshi holds leadership positions in both organizations, this could be one of the reasons why AQAP is different than other affiliates and continuously threatens the US homeland, as opposed to focusing exclusively on local agendas.   Just like in Pakistan, AQAP has formed coalitions with other militant groups active in Yemen. In 2011, an off shoot of AQAP emerged with the name of Ansar al-Sharia. Journalists from the region have reported that this is just a rebranding exercise on the part of AQAP to boost their support base, but the two names are used interchangeably by the fighters and locals alike.115  Another group which formed part of AQAP’s 2009 merger is Abyan-Aden Islamic army, which was the first Yemeni jihadi group created in 1998 by fighters returning from the Afghanistan jihad.116 Besides these groups, AQAP has recently formed coalitions with the separatist groups in the South of Yemen as both loath the Yemeni government and the army.117 However, in the north of the country, AQAP is engaged in a battle with the Houthi Shia rebels, despite the fact that Houthis are also fighting against the state.118  As opposed to Pakistan, where the CIA exclusively controls the drone program, “the CIA and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) run parallel drone programs in                                                  113 Ibid., 93. 114 McCormick, “Al-Qaeda Core.” 115 Atwan, After Bin-Laden, 81. 116 Ibid., 87. 117 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 88. 118 Ibid., 100. 33    Yemen, each with its own target list.”119 Furthermore, in the case of Yemen, “the most concentrated series of drone hits since 2002, has come in four provinces, Abyan in the south, Shabwa and Hadramawt in Yemen’s southeast and Mareb in the country’s center,”120 as opposed to Pakistan where drone attacks have been concentrated in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.                                                   119 Dilanian, “Sen. Levin’s Bid.” 120 Baron, “Yemenis Call US Drone Strikes.” 34    7. Research Design To assess the effectiveness of the US’s drone strikes as a targeted killing tool, I conduct a “structured, focused case comparison” between Pakistan and Yemen. The logic of selecting these cases is based on a “most likely” research design, “in which a scholar examines in depth a single case in which a hypothesized causal relationship is believed ‘most likely’ to be found.”121 In other words, if my theory is true, I should find its evidence in the “most likely” cases. Failure to do so would make the theory implausible, as it would be unlikely to hold true in other cases if its evidence is not present in the “most likely” ones.  The selected cases of Pakistan and Yemen provide a good starting point in testing the validity of the opposing claims regarding the efficacy of drones. In both cases, all the variables that I want to consider while analyzing the effectiveness of drones are present. Furthermore, certain “similarities across the cases give us confidence that we are comparing like with like”122 and can control “for potential confounding variables through matching.”123 Simultaneously, “similar to other small-N methods, the most likely approach has valuable properties: it pays close attention to the validity of concepts and to causal linkages; it helps account for variables that are difficult to measure; and it is sensitive to case-specific factors.”124  Through the use of both the qualitative and quantitative data, my primary objective is to identify the underlying causal mechanisms that make drones an effective or an ineffective tool of targeted killing. In other words, if drones are working, I should see certain mechanisms                                                  121 Ross, “How Do Natural Resources.” 37. 122 Weinstein, Inside Rebellion, 55. 123 Levy, “Case Studies.” 10. 124 Ross, “How Do Natural Resources.” 37. 35    unfolding, and if they are not, then I should see the alternative mechanisms unfolding. The small-N “most likely” approach makes this process easier by letting me explore evidence at the “micro level of the observable implication of the argument.”125 After obtaining the results, one can either confirm or deny the validity of the conflicting theories, or identify certain scope conditions under which they are most likely or least likely to hold.126  It is important to mention here that if I was trying to make a general claim about drones and their relationship with counter-terrorism, I would not be able to do so based on my current selection of cases. It is because my cases do not have enough variance and are susceptible to selection bias.127 Similarly, in a “controlled comparison,” which follows the logic of Mill’s “method of difference,” cases “are comparable in all respects except for the independent variable,”128 so that its affect can be isolated; whereas in this instance, the Independent Variable (i.e. drone strikes) is present in both cases.  Therefore, the purpose is not to make a definitive claim, but to pay closer attention to the case specific factors, which can help to probe and refine the existing theories regarding targeted killing and counter-terrorism, or help in creating some new hypotheses for future research.129 Finally, since this is an in-depth study of the two cases, by exploring evidence at the micro level, this design can control for the issues of endogeneity and spuriousness. It is because if the causal chain was operating in reverse, or if another factor other than my variable of interest was causing                                                  125 Weinstein, Inside Rebellion, 54. 126 George and Bennet, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences, 75. 127 King et al., Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research, 116-149. 128 George and Bennet, Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences, 81. 129 Ross, “How Do Natural Resources.” 37. 36    the outcome, these issues would end up producing very different observable implications than the ones posited in my theoretical framework.  7.1 Variables My variables of interests are defined as follows:  Independent Variable US’s targeted killing drone strikes  Dependent Variable Effectiveness (assessed along the following three dimensions) 1) Organizational Structure of the Targeted Terrorist Organization: By this I mean how the initial structure of the terrorist organizations present in my case studies is being affected subsequent to drone strikes. 2) Fighting Capacity of the Targeted Terrorist Organization: By this I mean the impact of drones on the ability of a terrorist organization to carry out attacks, both in terms of frequency and lethality.  3) Reaction of the Local Population: By this I mean the impact of drones on the local population, and whether that impact results in increasing or decreasing a terrorist organization’s support base.  The changes along these three dimensions in response to drone strikes are tracked in each case separately along a time series. T1 is the starting point when the first drone strike occurred in each country (2002 in Yemen, 2004 in Pakistan), and T2 is the last drone strike that occurred till September 10, 2014 in each case.   The following variables will be held constant across these two cases in order to rule out any potential alternative explanations:   37    7.1.1 Official Relationship with the US Currently, this weapon is only used by the US in both Pakistan and Yemen. These countries are categorized as being outside the “traditional” battlefields such as Afghanistan since there are no acknowledged US troops on the ground. Moreover, there is considerable evidence that leaders in both countries have, at times, allowed drone strikes to be conducted inside their countries, even while opposing them in front of their domestic audience.130 7.1.2 State Capacity Each year, Foreign Policy’s Fragile State Index analyzes different countries’ performance on 12 different social, economic and political indicators, and then classifies them on a spectrum from Least Fragile to Most Fragile. According to the Index’s assessment report of 2014, Pakistan was ranked 10th, Yemen was ranked 8th and both were together in the same category of being the “Most Fragile.”131 Furthermore, the state capacity of both countries has been relatively similar and comparable from 2010 onwards.132  7.1.3 Military Capacity Using the data available at the Global Fire Power website, I compared the militaries of Pakistan and Yemen. Pakistan ranks at number 15 among a total of 106 countries, whereas Yemen ranks at number 45. However, when I calculated the percentage of the active military personnel in relation to the total population, in the case of Pakistan it comes out to be 0.32%,                                                  130 Mazzetti, The Way Of The Knife; Woodward, Obama’s Wars; Miller, “Yemeni President.” 131 Foreign Policy, “Fragile State Index 2014,” Available at  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/fragile-states-2014 132 Foreign Policy, “Failed States,” Available at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/06/24/2013_failed_states_interactive_map 38    where as in the case of Yemen it is 0.26%.133 In addition, I use the data available at the World Bank website which tracks the percentage of GDP each country spends on its military expenditures. Interestingly, in the year 2013 (the last available report), Pakistan spent 3.4% of its GDP on military expenditures, while Yemen spent 3.9%; and the amount remains relatively constant from 2004 onwards ±1 % point.134 Therefore, it seems that despite being hugely different in their aggregate size, the militaries are relatively similar when compared with their individual country’s capacity. Finally, I think that in this instance, it is not the overall size or the strength of the military, but its training in counter-insurgency methods, which is a more appropriate indicator of their capacity to deal with their internal security situations. Available evidence indicates that both militaries have been largely unsuccessful in fighting the local insurgencies using “population-centric” counter-insurgency techniques, alluding to the fact that they are not well-trained for this type of warfare yet.135 7.1.4 State Sponsorship of Terrorism The governments of both Pakistan and Yemen have supported various terrorist groups in order to achieve their policy objectives. In the case of Yemen, Saleh used Al Qaeda forces to confront the Houthi Shia rebellion from 2004-2010.136 Similarly, Pakistan have supported various Taliban factions who are alleged to have close links with Al Qaeda.137 Therefore, when the domestic governments are not ready to tackle these terrorist groups themselves, from the                                                  133 Global Fire Power Database, “Comparisons of World’s Military Strength,”  Available at http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison.asp 134 The World Bank Data, “Military Expenditure % of GDP,” Available at http://search.worldbank.org/data?qterm=military+expenditure+%25+of+GDP&language=&format= 135 Jones and Fair, Counterinsurgency in Pakistan; Johnsen, The Last Refuge.  136 Scahill, Dirty Wars, 131. 137 Shahzad, Inside Al Qaeda and the Taliban.   39    perspective of the US, it has no choice but to deploy drones in order to protect its own security interests.  One factor that is not constant across these two cases is the presence of an international war next door in Pakistan, which is absent in the case of Yemen. Due to the presence of a porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, militants (belonging to both Al Qaeda and the Taliban) can escape the US assault in Afghanistan and move to Pakistan, making it harder to assess the effectiveness of drones in the local Pakistani context. For example, if an increase in the number of militants inside Pakistan’s tribal areas is due to their migration from across the border, it can erroneously lead to the conclusion that drone strikes are resulting in an increase in the number of militants, when drones might have had no impact on the capabilities or behaviours of the targeted organization.138 Similarly, if their survival is threatened in the Pakistani context as a result of drones, they can move back to Afghanistan, making it difficult to isolate the effects of drones in the case of Pakistan.                                                     138 Johnston, “Does Decapitation Work?,” 66. 40    8. Data and Analysis The research design mentioned above represents an agenda for future research, which I plan to conduct with more time and resources. However, for the current paper, I work with the incomplete data already available to get a preliminary idea of the mechanisms that are unfolding in each case.  8.1 Organizational Structure of a Terrorist Organization To track changes in the organizational structure of both AQC and AQAP subsequent to drone strikes, I look at the existing literature published on the subject from 2001 to 2014.   8.1.1 Pakistan  From the mid-1990s to the late 2001, Al Qaeda was a fully hierarchical and bureaucratized organization.139 However after 9/11, as the US led counter-terrorism efforts resulted in the loss of its key leaders, Al Qaeda deliberately made the decision to decentralize at a global level because it “could no longer exist as a hierarchy.”140 In other words, Al Qaeda was decentralizing into a network even before the start of the US drone program. Nevertheless, after escaping from Afghanistan, AQC revived its formal hierarchical structure as it settled down in the tribal areas of Pakistan.141 Gunaratna and Oreg argue that for a group like Al Qaeda, the ability to carry out large-scale attacks remains important. Moreover, in order to sustain continuous support and retain its legitimacy among its constituents, it was necessary for Al Qaeda central to retain a semblance of hierarchy.142                                                   139 Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma, 16. 140 Jones, “A Persistent Threat,” 20. 141 Gunaratna and Oreg, “Al Qaeda’s Organizational Structure,” 1065. 142 Ibid., 1046. 41    Initially, Al Qaeda core was able to revive its hierarchical structure even in the face of drones. Writing in 2010, Gunaratna and Oreg noted that “during the last nine years, “Al Qaeda lost four ‘chiefs of staff,’ four chiefs of the special (external) forces unit, and at least half a dozen of senior regional field commanders (Generals) as a result of US counter-terrorism efforts, including drone strikes.”143 However, it was able to find suitable replacements from within the core hierarchical organization.144 This evidence seems consistent with H01 i.e. drones are an ineffective tool of targeted killing because a hierarchical organization is able to retain its structure and replace lost operatives.   However, Christine Fair notes that there were only nine drone attacks in Pakistan between 2004 and 2007. The pace of the drone attacks in Pakistan started to pick up in 2008, and 2010 was the “year of the drone,” when 118 drone attacks (122 according to some other reports) were conducted inside Pakistan.145 As a result, “from 2008 - 2011, al Qaeda Central’s leadership in Pakistan was decimated by drones.”146 Clint Watts estimates that currently, Ayman al Zawahiri and his closest advisors of “Old Guard” al Qaeda in Pakistan are no more than a couple dozen individuals.147 Hence over time, the support for H01 diminishes and the available evidence becomes consistent with H1(a) i.e. drones are an effective tool of targeted killing because the targeted terrorist organization is crippling subsequent to drone strikes.  Drones are also negatively impacting Al Qaeda Core’s relations with its affiliates around the world. Javier Jordan notes that in response to drones, Al Qaeda leaders are devoting                                                  143 Gunaratna and Oreg, “Al Qaeda’s Organizational Structure,” 1046. 144 Ibid., 1064. 145 Fair et al., “Pakistani Opposition,” 5. 146 Watts, “Jihadi Competition.”  147 Watts, “Smarter Counterterrorism.” 42    substantial attention and energy to self-protection rather than coordinating the organization, which aggravates the communication problem between the network’s nodes.148 As a result, the divisions within the organization have come to the forefront. Al Qaeda Central was unable to mediate the fractures within Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (or AQIM) and Al Shabab.149 Most recently, Zawahiri’s failure to mediate the dispute between the Jabhat al-Nusrah and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Syria, and the resulting break between Al Qaeda and ISIS highlighted Al Qaeda’s core limitations in controlling its affiliates.150 This evidence is consistent with H1(b) i.e. drones are an effective tool of targeted killing because the targeted terrorist organization is further decentralizing subsequent to drone strikes. Finally, the hierarchical structure of Al Qaeda core that is left in the tribal areas of Pakistan is becoming more tightly hierarchical in response to drones, as opposed to decentralizing further. As mentioned before, maintaining a hierarchical structure is important for Al Qaeda core. However, drone strikes have created a fear within the organization that somebody within its ranks might be providing the intelligence that guides drones. Hence, the Afghan Taliban—TTP—Al Qaeda nexus in Af-Pak region have formed a special division known as Lashkar-e-Khorozan, which identifies and executes local spies who are collaborating with the US and the Pakistani security agencies.151 Al Qaeda core also fears the incorporation of the new recruits within its ranks, thinking that they might be looking to infiltrate the organization in order to get intelligence for drone strikes.152 This cautious approach in recruitment is limiting Al                                                  148 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 15. 149 Watts, “Jihadi Competition.” 150 Jones, “A Persistent Threat,” 10. Also see, Burdette, “It’s not you, it’s me.”  151 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 144. 152 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 18-19. 43    Qaeda core’s growth.153 Drones have also increased the communication problem between the nodes at the core of the hierarchy. This was evident when Al Qaeda took a month and a half to appoint Zawahiri as Bin Laden’s successor, an important decision that should have been made much sooner.154 This evidence provides support for H1(c) i.e. drones are an effective tool of targeted killing because a targeted terrorist organization is becoming tightly hierarchical subsequent to drone strikes.  In sum, while the initial evidence suggested that drones are an ineffective tool in degrading the organizational structure of Al Qaeda core, with the passage of time and an increase in the drone strikes, they are becoming effective in “decimating” its structure. 155 AQC is weakening and the remaining structure is becoming tightly hierarchical in response to drones. Moreover, drones are increasing the communication problem between the core and its affiliates around the world, resulting in the further decentralization and an increase in the divisions within the organization at a global level.  In the context of Pakistan, I briefly look at the effects of drones on the structure of the Pakistani Taliban. It is because in Pakistan, more drone strikes have been directed against the                                                  153 The Soufan Group, “The Challenge to Al Qaeda.” 154 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 15. 155 It is important to clarify here that this evidence does not necessarily mean that more drone strikes=more effectiveness. Rather, more getting the right people=more effectiveness. Suppose that there are 3 AQC operatives that the US wants to eliminate. It can target all three of them in one strike (if they happen to be gathered together at one place) or it can use three different strikes by going after each one of them individually. The effectiveness is a result of the removal of those 3 important operatives, which inflicts attrition on the organization, and is not directly correlated with an increase in the raw number of strikes. A fewer number of drone strikes with better intelligence can in fact, inflict more damage on a terrorist organization than a large number of drone strikes based on faulty intelligence who end up missing their intended targets. Hence, in the case of AQC, it is not just an increase in the number of drone strikes, but their coupling with targeting of the key operatives, which is “decimating” its structure.   44    TTP as opposed to Al Qaeda, killing between 693 and 1,288 Taliban militants as of June 25, 2014.156 As mentioned before, the Pakistani Taliban formally emerged in 2007 as an umbrella organization when Islamist militants scattered across the tribal belt came together under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud. He was targeted in a US drone strike in 2009, and was succeeded by Hakeemullah Mehsud. However, when HakeemUllah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike in 2013, a leadership crisis emerged in the organization. For the first time, a non-Mehsud leader, Mullah Fazalullah, was chosen as the group leader. Therefore, in May 2014, the Mehsud faction of the umbrella organization split away from the Pakistani Taliban to create a TTP-Meshud faction.157 Because Pakistani Taliban were never organized in a rigidly hierarchical fashion like the Al Qaeda Central, I did not formulate a hypothesis specifically related to their organizational structure; since my theoretical framework was limited to looking at the effects of drones on the structure of the hierarchical organizations. However, the available evidence presents interesting contrast with the structure of AQC, something that should be taken into account for future research.  Paul Staniland identifies the TTP as a “parochial” insurgent group. “Parochial groups lack a strong central command, and instead are made up of powerful factions based on local networks.”158 As a result, while the death of the top leader in a parochial group opens the door for infighting and factional rivalry, decapitation alone is unlikely to destroy these groups because                                                  156 New America Foundation, “Drone Wars: Pakistan, Key Findings,” Available at http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/pakistan/key-findings 157 Shah, “Pakistani Taliban Faction;” Walsh, “Fractured State of Pakistani Taliban.” 158 Lyall, “What’s Next for the Pakistani Taliban.” 45    the top leader has limited power in the first place.159 Hence, in the case of the Pakistani Taliban, it seems that while drones are being effective in creating divisions and infighting between the different factions, they have been unsuccessful in significantly destroying the structure of the organization; since individual factions are not giving up violence despite breaking away.  8.1.2 Yemen Despite being part of the Al Qaeda’s global network, AQAP is a distinct terror group with its own hierarchy and decision making apparatus.160 After escaping from jail in 2006, Wuhayshi “constructed AQAP in a way that is designed to survive the loss of key cell leaders.”161 In other words, instead of being a traditionally hierarchical group, AQAP adopted a hybrid structure. AQAP has a political leader, a military chief, a propaganda wing and a religious branch that perform their respective functions for the whole organization. However, the individual cells are highly autonomous and localized to the regions in which AQAP has established strongholds.162 Each cell is self-contained and isolated from each other, so that the destruction of one node does not lead to the destruction of another.163 It is important to mention here that while Wuhayshi was building this organization from 2006-2009, there were no reported drone strikes in Yemen.164  But how are drones affecting the AQAP’s structure in Yemen? First, according to some media reports, “drone strikes have sown mistrust within the group, where there is ‘a feeling that                                                  159 Ibid.  160 Johnsen, The Last Refuge, 259. 161 Khan, “Understanding Yemen’s Al Qaeda Threat.”  162 Barfi, “Yemen on the Brink?”  163 Johnsen, The Last Refuge, 217.  164 New America Foundation, “Drone Wars Yemen: Analysis,” Available at  http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/yemen/analysis 46    the Americans have infiltrated its ranks, especially with the killing of several of its leaders.’”165 Gregory Johnson reports that during 2012, as the number of US drone strikes started to increase significantly in Yemen, there were several incidents of particularly brutal treatment of people accused of being spies for drones.166 This behaviour shows that just like Al Qaeda central, AQAP is also becoming tightly hierarchical, evidence that is consistent with H1(c).    There are various reasons that AQAP would like to preserve the hierarchical part of its structure, despite its vulnerability to drone strikes. AQAP is the only Al Qaeda affiliate that has attempted attacks on the US homeland in recent years. Furthermore, while other Al Qaeda affiliates are dealing with infighting and fractionalization, AQAP has mostly avoided such problems.167 AQAP has also assumed most of the functions of al Qaeda Central such as issuing operational guidance, coordinating with affiliates and the distribution of resources.168 It is unlikely that it will be able to perform all these functions with greater efficiency if it decentralizes completely into a cellular network within Yemen.  Along with becoming tightly hierarchical due to an increase in the mistrust between its members, the dead operatives are not necessarily being replaced with more competent ones. For example, Anwar Al Awlaki was made the head of the Foreign Operations Unit in AQAP because he had spent time in the West and knew these societies well. As a result, he was able to plan international operations and provide guidance and training to potential recruits.169 After his                                                  165 Bergen and Rowland, “Al Qaeda in Yemen.” 166 Johnsen, The Last Refuge, 286-287.  167 McCants, “How Zawahiri Lost Al Qaeda.” 168 Watts, “Jihadi Competition.” 169 Hegghammer, “The Case for Chasing Al-Awlaki.” 47    death, Awlaki was replaced by Al-Quso as the head of Foreign Operations Unit, who also got targeted by a drone and a plot planned by him on the US homeland was thwarted.170 However, it is unclear how effective drones are being in destroying the cellular part of the organization. Because of the highly localized and isolated nature of the cells, even if drones become successful in destroying some local cells, it is unlikely that they will be able to identify and destroy all the local cells. In sum, the available evidence suggests that drones are being more effective in degrading the hierarchical part of the AQAP, as opposed to the cellular part. However, I think that the degradation of the hierarchical part of the organization can result in making the local cells less effective. The highly localized nature of the AQAP’s cells makes it unlikely that they will pose a significant threat to the international security, even if they break away from the former organization after the destruction of its hierarchical part.  8.2 Capacity of a Terrorist Organization In order to determine the impact of drones on the capacity of both AQC and AQAP, I look at the frequency and the lethality of suicide attacks carried out by them on a yearly basis following the US drone strikes. In the absence of the government data, I use the New America Foundation Drone Database which keeps a tally of the US drone strikes as they are reported in the local and international media.171 For suicide attacks, I use the data accumulated by the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, which is “best known for creating and maintaining the most comprehensive and transparent suicide attack database available.”172                                                  170 Shane and Schmitt, “Qaeda Plot to Attack Plane.” 171 New America Foundation, “Drone Wars,” Available at http://securitydata.newamerica.net/about 172 University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” Available at http://cpost.uchicago.edu/about/ 48    My T1 is the year when the first reported drone strike occurred in each of my cases, (2004 for Pakistan and 2002 for Yemen), and my T2 is September 10, 2014 for both cases.    While terrorist attacks can take many forms, not just suicide, and not every suicide attack is classified as a terrorist attack due to the contestation surrounding this term, there are four reasons why I focus specifically on the suicide attacks in order to determine the impact of drones on a terrorist organization’s capacity.  First, suicide attacks are specifically intended to affect a larger audience, whether they attack civilian or military targets. Their success lies in their shock value, which is an important component of the tactic of terrorism. 173 Moreover, due to their indiscriminate nature, they end up killing civilians even when civilians are not the primary target. For example, in the 1998 Embassy bombings in Nairobi, a total of 224 people were killed in Kenya, including 12 Americans.174 These components make “suicide” attack a tactic that is most closely associated with a “terrorist” attack, even when it is aimed at a non-civilian target.  Secondly, Bruce Hoffman notes that suicide tactics are inexpensive to plan, easier to execute and on average, kill about four times as many people as other kinds of terrorist attacks, making them lethally efficient. They are also harder to deter because they depend on the perpetrator’s willingness to die.175 Therefore, a truly effective counter-terrorism policy should be able to decrease the capacity of a terrorist organization with respect to these kinds of attacks, which are by definition the most lethal and the hardest to deter.                                                   173 Bloom, “Dying to Kill,” 26.  174 CNN Library, “Fast Facts.”  175 Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, 131-171.   49    Third, Assaf Moghadem notes that “suicide attack” is the modus operandi of Al Qaeda (the group that is supposedly the primary target of US drones). Al Qaeda prefers them both due to the pragmatic benefits associated with this tactic, and the way it can use religion to motivate its followers by reinterpreting suicide as an act of martyrdom.176  Finally, using the database that specifically tracks the suicide attacks ensures consistency in my analysis. Otherwise, different datasets code some violent attacks as “terrorist” attacks while others do not, leading to different results based on different numbers.   8.2.1 Pakistan In the case of Pakistan, I look at the following campaigns: 1) AQC vs. the US homeland 2) AQC vs. the US and allies (i.e. Pakistan) 3) Pakistani Taliban vs. the US homeland 4) Pakistani Taliban vs. the US and allies (i.e. Pakistan). If the capacity of a terrorist organization is decreasing, it means that it should not be able to inflict significant damage anywhere. Otherwise, if drones decrease a terrorist organization’s capacity only with respect to the US homeland, but not with respect to the country where the organization operates, then drones are not being effective on this dimension.   8.2.1.1 AQC vs. the US Homeland   According to the University of Chicago database, AQC has not been able to carry out any successful suicide attack on the US homeland since the attacks of September 11, 2001.177 However, Javier Jordan accumulated the data on plots that were broken up, as well as failed and successful attacks between 2001 and 2012, and his data was not limited to the suicide attacks. He                                                  176 Moghadam, “How Al Qaeda Innovates,” 480. 177 University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” Available at http://cpostdata.uchicago.edu/search_new.php 50    found that between 2007 and 2012 (at the time when the US drone strikes started to increase in Pakistan), there was not a single successful attack or any deaths carried out by the AQC on the US homeland, implying that the capacity of Al Qaeda core to attack the US homeland has fallen dramatically.178  8.2.1.2 AQC vs. the US and Allies (i.e. Pakistan)  Table 1. US Drone Strikes vs. AQC Suicide Attacks in Pakistan Year No. of US Drone Strikes No. of Suicide Attacks by AQC inside Pakistan No. of People Killed in AQC Suicide Attacks Inside Pakistan  Lethality of AQC Suicide Attacks Inside Pakistan  (No. of People Killed/No. of Suicide Attacks) 2004 1 0 0 0.0 2005 3 0 0 0.0 2006 2 1 4 4.0 2007 4 1 30 30.0 2008 36 1 8 8.0 2009 52 0 0 0.0 2010 122 0 0 0.0 2011 73 0 0 0.0 2012 48 0 0 0.0 2013 27 0 0 0.0 2014 7 0 0 0.0  Sources: New America Foundation, “Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis,” <http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/pakistan/analysis>; University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” <http://cpostdata.uchicago.edu/search_new.php >. The above mentioned data shows that as the number of drone strikes started to increase significantly in Pakistan i.e. from 2008 onwards, AQC’s capacity to carry out attacks inside Pakistan decreased.                                                    178 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 22-23.  51    Overall, with respect to both the US homeland and Pakistan, this evidence is consistent with H2 i.e. drones are being effective in degrading the capacity of the targeted terrorist organization.  8.2.1.3 Pakistani Taliban vs. the US Homeland   As mentioned before, in the case of Pakistan, drones have killed more members of the Pakistani Taliban as compared to AQC.179 Therefore, I also look at the effects of drones on their capacity in order to compare it with AQC.   The Pakistani Taliban have not been able to carry out any successful suicide attack on the US homeland.180 However, in 2010, there was a suicide attack attempt on the Times Square by Faisal Shahzad, who trained with the Pakistani Taliban. Javier Jordan argues that the reason his attempt failed was because drones are affecting the capacity of these organizations to properly train their operatives. Faisal Shahzad only trained with the TTP for five days, and “this was probably a contributing factor to the failed bomb attempt.”181                                                          179 New America Foundation, “Drone Wars: Pakistan, Key Findings,” Available at http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/pakistan/key-findings 180 University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” Available at http://cpostdata.uchicago.edu/search_new.php 181 Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign,” 22.  52    8.2.1.4 Pakistani Taliban vs. the US and Allies (i.e. Pakistan)  Table 2. US Drone Strikes vs. TTP Suicide Attacks in Pakistan  Sources: New America Foundation, “Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis,” <http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/pakistan/analysis>; University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” <http://cpostdata.uchicago.edu/search_new.php >. With respect to the capacity of the Pakistani Taliban to carry out attacks inside Pakistan, till 2010, there does not seem to be a strong correlation between the number of drone strikes and the resulting frequency and the lethality of the terrorist attacks. Even when some years saw a decrease in the frequency of the terrorist attacks, the lethality of those attacks increased significantly when compared to the previous year. For example, in 2010, the year with the highest number of drone strikes, the frequency of the terrorist attacks decreased from the previous year i.e. from 36 to 28, but the lethality of those attacks increased significantly from 11.8 to 21.7, leading me to conclude that drones are not being very effective in degrading the capacity of the Pakistani Taliban. However, the frequency and the lethality of the terrorist attacks follows a decreasing trend in the years after 2010, with the exception of 2013, leading me to Year No. of US Drone Strikes No. of Suicide Attacks by the TTP Inside Pakistan No. of People Killed in TTP  Suicide Attacks Inside Pakistan  Lethality of TTP Suicide Attacks Inside Pakistan  (No. of People Killed/No. of Suicide Attacks) 2004 1 0 0 0 2005 3 1 19 19.0 2006 2 4 50 12.5 2007 4 5 30 6.0 2008 36 16 259 16.2 2009 52 36 425 11.8 2010 122 28 607 21.7 2011 73 14 270 19.3 2012 48 15 147 9.8 2013 27 10 224 22.4 2014 7 7 64 9.1 53    conclude that the lag effect of the particularly high number of drone strikes from 2010 is becoming evident, and as a result, the capacity of the Pakistani Taliban is in fact decreasing subsequent to drone strikes. In 2013, while there were fewer terrorist attacks from the previous years, the lethality of those terrorist attacks observed a significant increase, from 9.8 to 22.4. One explanation could be that during 2013, there might have been one very lethal suicide attack, which ended up skewing the trend of the decrease in lethality after 2010.182  In sum, drones are being effective in degrading the capacity of the hierarchically organized Al Qaeda Central, both with respect to the US homeland and Pakistan. However, while they seem to be degrading the capacity of the Pakistani Taliban with respect to the US homeland, the evidence regarding the effects of drones on their ability to carry out attacks inside Pakistan is mixed, leading me to conclude that drones are not as effective against a “parochial group” (a group which is organized as a network of power factions without having a strong hierarchy), as they are against a hierarchical group.    8.2.2 Yemen  In the case of Yemen, I look at the following campaigns: 1) AQAP vs. the US homeland 2) AQAP vs. the US and allies (i.e. Yemen).  8.2.2.1 AQAP vs. the US Homeland  AQAP has not been able to carry out any successful suicide attacks on the US homeland between 2002- September 2014.183 However, it has attempted three unsuccessful attacks during                                                  182 I thank Dr. Brian Job for this point.  183 University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” Available at http://cpostdata.uchicago.edu/search_new.php 54    that time: the Christmas Day bombing attempt in 2009, the printer cartridges bombing attempt in 2010 and an attack on a US bound airliner in May 2012.184 While the continuation of their attempts to attack the US homeland could be seen as an evidence of the ineffectiveness of drones, the failure to actually carry out these attacks in all the three instances shows that their training capabilities inside Yemen are being effected due to the constant fear of drone strikes, much like Al Qaeda central.185 As a result, it can be concluded that drones are degrading the capacity of AQAP to plan and conduct successful attacks on the US homeland.  8.2.2.2 AQAP vs. the US and Allies (i.e. Yemen)   Table 3. US Drone Strikes vs. AQAP Suicide Attacks in Yemen Year No. of US Drone Strikes No. of Suicide Attacks by AQAP Inside Yemen  No. of People Killed in AQAP Suicide Attacks Inside Yemen  Lethality of AQAP Suicide Attacks Inside Yemen  (No. of People Killed/No. of Suicide Attacks) 2002 1 0 0 0.0 2003 0 0 0 0.0 2004 0 0 0 0.0 2005 0 0 0 0.0 2006 0 0 0 0.0 2007 0 0 0 0.0 2008 0 2 30 15.0 2009 0 0 0 0.0 2010 1 2 24 12.0 2011 9 0 0 0.0 2012 47 7 60 8.6 2013 25 5 118 23.6 2014 15 1 9 9.0  Sources: New America Foundation, “Drone Wars Yemen: Analysis,” <http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/yemen/analysis >; University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” < http://cpostdata.uchicago.edu/search_new.php>.                                                  184 Masters and Laub, “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” 185 The Huffington Post, “Al Qaeda Drone Guide.” 55    In the case of AQAP vs. Yemen, it seems that drones are being relatively more effective against AQAP when compared to the Pakistani Taliban, but not as effective as they are being against AQC. For example, while there is a consistent decrease in the lethality of AQAP’s suicide attacks from 2008-2012, the lethality increases significantly in 2013, before decreasing again in 2014. Similarly, the frequency of AQAP’s attacks observes an increase in 2012, but then decreases over the next two years. This evidence is not directly consistent with any of my proposed hypothesis. However, some semblance of drone effectiveness is visible from this data.  Hence, I conclude that drones are being effective in degrading the capacity of AQAP in relation to the US homeland. However, within Yemen the evidence is mixed, leaving my hypotheses indeterminate in the absence of other data or indicators. In the light of this evidence, I argue that the initial structure of the organization matters in terms of determining the effectiveness of drones. AQAP has a hybrid structure, so drones are not as effective against it as they are against the hierarchically organized AQC, yet AQAP is not as fractionalized as the Pakistani Taliban, making it somewhat vulnerable to the US drone strikes.186  8.3 Reaction of the Local Population To understand the effectiveness of drones on this dimension, I look at the factor of recruitment and use it as a proxy to determine public’s reaction towards the US drone strikes. My                                                  186 A caveat needs to be noted here. By just comparing the number of drone strikes to the resulting number of terrorist incidents in each case, the effect of my independent variable i.e. “US targeted killing drone strikes” is hard to isolate while determining its impact on the “capacity of a terrorist organization.” It is because other counter-terrorism measures are also operating in conjunction such as: the military operations carried out by the Pakistani and Yemeni army, arrests of certain suspected individuals by the local governments whenever possible, border controls at an international level, and a very tight homeland security apparatus inside the US.  However, Javier Jordan argues that such evidence still gives sufficient reasons to believe that drones are complementing the efforts of other counter-terrorism measures (See Jordan, “The Effectiveness of the Drone Campaign”). Future Research should definitely come up with a model which isolates the variable of drone strikes (if possible), in order to more rigorously determine the impact of drones on the capacity of the targeted terrorist organization.  56    primary focus is on the reaction of the local population since they are the ones who are in direct contact with the drone violence. However, the issue of the national and foreign recruits will be discussed as it intersects with the reaction of the local population. In order to properly explore this issue, a comprehensive data set that traces the profiles of recruits in AQC, the Pakistani Taliban, and AQAP is required. Such a data set is non-existent at this point. Therefore, I rely on various media reports to formulate a preliminary analysis of the relationship between drones and recruitment.  8.3.1 Pakistan According to the most recent Pew polls conducted in 2014, majority of the Pakistanis (66%) oppose the US drone strikes.187 Approximately 59% of the people had a negative view of the US and most Pakistanis now consider the US as Pakistan’s biggest threat, as opposed to the traditional rival India.188 Pakistan’s approval rating of Obama was at 7%, which was the lowest among the 44 countries surveyed.189 Looking at this data, one might reasonably conclude that the people in Pakistan are vehemently opposed to drone strikes, and by extension harbour anti-American sentiments.  However, Pew polls, like various other opinion polls conducted in Pakistan, do not always differentiate between the opinions of the people in the tribal areas with those of the settled Pakistan. In fact, as Pew itself acknowledges, opinion polls are not even conducted in                                                  187 Pew Research Centre, “Widespread Opposition to Drones.”  188 Pew Research Centre, “Which Countries Don’t Like American and Which Do;” Pew Research Centre, “How Asians View Each Other.” 189 Vayani, “At 7%.”  57    FATA due to the dangerous security situation in the area.190  Therefore, I try to disaggregate the recruitment data into the local, national and foreign population.  8.3.1.1 Local Recruits Local population in the tribal areas is facing three kinds of violence: 1) Taliban militants 2) Pakistan military 3) US drone strikes. While people in the tribal areas initially welcomed the escaping militants from Afghanistan,191 after a couple of years, reports of excessive coercion on the part of militants starting coming out of the region. Militants not only started to impose their harsh brand of Sharia on the local population, but also started killing those who dared to publicly oppose them.192  Therefore, when militants are involved in oppressing the local population, I find evidence in support of drones, which is consistent with H3 i.e. the support base of the terrorist organization is decreasing with the members of the local population.  Imtiaz Gul, an expert on the area, argues that, “the opinion is sort of divided as to whether [drones] are productive or not. If you talk to younger people from those regions, particularly from Waziristan, they would say they are good because they are taking out the bad people. People who have brought misery on them.”193 Similarly, Pir Zubair Shah, the former NYT correspondent from the area, quoted a tribal elder who supported drone strikes despite losing his brother to drones. “In our case, it might be faulty intelligence or mischief by someone... [Regardless], I would always go for the drones.”194 Finally, in 2011, various members of the political parties and local civil society organizations                                                  190 Connelly, “Poll Affirms;” Fair et al., “Pakistani Opposition.”  191 Gul, “Pakistan’s Tribal Regions;” Shazad, Inside Al Qaeda and the Taliban, xix. 192 Taj, Taliban and Anti-Taliban, 130-131. 193 Gul, “Pakistan’s Tribal Regions.” 194 Shah, “The Drone War,” 246. 58    from the region organized a workshop and released a declaration. One of its clauses stated that “if the people of the war-affected areas are satisfied with any counter militancy strategy, it is the drone attacks that they support the most”195 (Emphasis added).  On the other hand, while there is no doubt that some civilians have died as a result of the drone strikes, it is not always clear if the relatives of those victims are necessarily joining the terrorist organizations, casting doubt on the “accidental guerilla” theory and the related H03. Farhat Taj, an expert on the tribal areas of Pakistan, argues that most drone strikes have been concentrated in the areas belonging to the Wazir and Dawar tribes in the North and South Waziristan, whereas most attackers inside Pakistan are from the Mehsud tribe (who form the backbone of the Pakistani Taliban) and the foreign fighters such as the Uzbeks and Arabs. Therefore it is hard to argue that these people fight as a “backlash” to drones or due to a tribal code of revenge when the civilians belonging to their ethnic groups are not necessarily being targeted by drones (even if the militants are).196  After closely looking at the profiles of some of the terrorists who cited the US drone strikes as their motivation, I found that they themselves were not actual victims of drones. For example, the Times Square bomber Faisal Shazad, while being an ethnic Pashtun from Pakistan, was not from the tribal areas where drones are occurring, and neither of his family members were targeted by drones. In fact, his father was in the Pakistan air force which itself is accused of killing civilians in the tribal areas. His statement in the court, while mentioning drone attacks, also mentions issues such as the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US ground forces,                                                  195 Taj, Taliban and Anti-Taliban, 204. 196 Taj, “Deconstructing Imran Khan’s Taliban Narrative.”  59    and the oppression of the people in the Gaza strip by the Israeli forces.197 Therefore, it is hard to measure the extent to which drones motivated him to carry out the attack, and whether he would not have done it only if the US was not conducting drone strikes in Pakistan, considering that the other global issues would still have been present.  Similarly, the 2009 suicide attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan was executed by Al-Balawi, who was a Jordanian. In his martyrdom video, he sits next to the former Pakistani Taliban chief Hakeemullah Mehsud and “explains that his mission is in retaliation for the US drone attack the killed former TTP emir, Beitullah Meshud.”198 Again, it is hard to argue that he was motivated by the notion of revenge when he is not even from the same country where drones are carried out, and his statement did not mention the loss of civilians by drones, but the death of a known militant.  In addition to the above mentioned evidence, I identified a new mechanism at work which casts doubt on the “accidental guerilla” theory. Jeremy Weinstein argues that if insurgents fight for a cause that resonates with the local population (in this instance, drones), they should easily be able to attract committed fighters.199 However, several reports have indicated that this is not the case, specifically when it comes to the local recruits. In the tribal areas, families are being forced to give up at least one child to fight for the militants’ cause.200 Carlotta Gall, a NYT journalist on the Af-Pak region, found that “with each suicide bomber’s story, a pattern of covert recruitment and training emerged.”201 Parents would send their children to the madrassas to get                                                  197 Adams and Nasir, “Inside the Mind.”  198 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 145. 199 Weinstein, Inside Rebellion.   200 Taj, “Deconstructing Imran Khan’s Taliban Narrative;” Macdonald, “‘Living Under Drones’---The anti-drone campaign.” 201 Gall, The Wrong Enemy, 154. 60    religious education, and were completely unaware that their children were then used as suicide bombers.202 At other instances, children were outright kidnapped to be trained as suicide bombers.203  Now, while the above mentioned evidence casts doubt on the “accidental guerilla” theory in the case of Pakistan, it is still not enough to outright reject it. In some of the documentaries that have interviewed the drone victims in Pakistan, people have expressed very strong opinions against the US’s drone policy such as: “Drone attacks have turned all their friends into enemies, we were not their enemy before, but now they have made us enemies by killing us with drones.”   “I am angry at America and have become its enemy after the death of my mother. Thousands will become America’s enemy after such incidents.”   “I think there is no bigger terrorist than Obama or Bush…Those who have weaponry like drones, who drop bombs on us while we are at home. There are no greater terrorists than them.”204  However, since these victims are now documented, there are no reports of any of them joining the militant groups as recruits yet. Future research can track these drone victims and observe closely if they do end up joining the militants, either as recruits, or by providing other forms of logistical support. In my readings, I came across only one incident where a direct relationship between a drone victim and a subsequent terrorist attack was cited. In 2006, a drone strike ended up killing over 60 children when it attacked a madrassa. This attack was followed by a suicide bombing on a military garrison which killed 42 army recruits. “The man who carried                                                  202 Gall, The Wrong Enemy, 147-162.   203 Taj, “Deconstructing Imran Khan’s Taliban Narrative.”  204 Tahir, “Wounds of Waziristan,” Available at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk7fD5umakg 61    out the assault was said to have been a relative of one of the children killed in the Bajaur madrassa.”205 While this evidence seems consistent with H03 i.e. drones are ineffective because they increase the support base of the targeted terrorist organization, these anecdotal accounts do not make it clear if this behaviour is a consistent trend among all the victims of the US drone strikes, or are they just individual data points in the overall recruitment drive of these terrorist organizations.    Hence, I infer from these observations that militants in the area are having difficulties in finding voluntary local fighters for their organization. This means that drones are being effective on this dimension despite incurring some anger from the local population, since not all of the drone victims are joining the terrorist organizations. Otherwise, if drones are the new “recruiting tool,” why do these militants need to engage in such oppressive and forcible methods to get recruits? Shouldn’t people join them voluntarily because they have a “desire for revenge?”  8.3.1.2 National Recruits While the militant organizations in FATA are facing difficulties in finding voluntary recruits from the local areas, the leading Pakistani security analyst Amir Rana describes the province of Punjab as the “‘nerve center of Jihad’ from where 50% of the Jihadists come.”206 This is the wealthiest province of Pakistan, far removed from the tribal areas and has not seen a single drone strike. Moreover, the recruitment of the fighters from all across Pakistan predates drones. The presence of the national fighters from other regions in Pakistan started to increase in 2005 as militants started to gain a stronghold in the tribal areas.207 The increasing recruitment of                                                  205 Khan, Pakistan: A Personal History, 306. 206 Kanwar, “Punjab: The Brain Behind TTP.” 207 Shahzad, Inside Al Qaeda and the Taliban, 28-29; Taj, Taliban and Anti-Taliban, 77. 62    these fighters, even before an escalation in drone strikes, challenges the “accidental guerilla” theory with respect to the drone violence.  8.3.1.3 Foreign Recruits  The issue of the foreign fighters in the region is a complex one. While there is no exact estimate, it is reported that after the US invasion, roughly 10,000 Uzbek, Chechen, Uighur, Chinese, and Arab fighters arrived in Pakistan.208 Nevertheless, force was not the first solution that was used to deal with the increasing flow of the militants from across the border. Pakistan Army negotiated and signed various peace deals with the militants in the tribal areas before starting any military operations. However, militants always used these deals to their advantage and continued their violence.209 As this dance of the military operations and the negotiations continued, a NYT report noted in July 2008 that the foreign fighters were increasingly moving away from Iraq, and coming to the tribal areas of Pakistan because it was seen as a “winning fight.”210 While the drone campaign in Pakistan had started in 2004, till July 2008, only 15 strikes had occurred in the span of approximately 4 years.211 Hence, an increase in the number of foreign fighters entering the tribal areas during that time was not due to a “reaction” to drone strikes, but because drones were not seen as a significant threat to the safe haven in the tribal areas of Pakistan.  However, it seems that even after an increase in the drone strikes under the Obama administration, which reached their peak in 2010, foreign fighters’ movement towards the region                                                  208 Shahzad, Inside Al Qaeda and the Taliban, 2-3. 209 Munir, “Narratives on the TTP.” 210 Schmitt, “Militant Gains in Pakistan.” 211 New America Foundation, “Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis,” Available at  http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/pakistan/analysis 63    did not slow down. 212 In other words, the attrition and deterrence effects of drones do not seem to be working in relation to the foreign fighters. This evidence is consistent with H03. Nevertheless, it is important to note how the condition in Syria, which started to deteriorate in 2011, affected the behaviour of the foreign fighters. Thomas Hegghammer argues that “for the past three years, virtually all of the world’s new jihadi foreign fighters have gone to Syria, where a majority has joined ISIS. By comparison, only a handful have gone to Pakistan, Yemen, or Algeria to train with al-Qaida and its affiliates.”213 If the foreign fighters were motivated by a revenge for drones, they would have continued to go to places where the US was conducting drone strikes. But this change in the destination, and their subsequent recruitment in the extremist organizations such as ISIS or Al-Nusra, provides evidence that foreign fighters, who are far removed from the conflict zones, can be motivated by several factors, as opposed to any one specific policy.214 In the light of this evidence, I argue that overall, the recruitment pattern of the foreign fighters does not see a consistent correlation with an increase or decrease of the US drone strikes.  Finally, two important points need to be clarified here. A big fear related to drones is that they increase anti-American sentiment inside Pakistan, raising the prospects that people from the region would want to harm the US.  However, the anti-Americanism in Pakistan predates drones and is driven by various factors, not just the US drone strikes. Data from the Pew polls                                                  212 Ferran and Schifrin, “Captured Al Qaeda.”  213 Hegghammer, “Calculated Caliphate.” 214 Barrett, “Foreign Fighters in Syria.” 64    conducted since 2002 show this trend. For example, the highest percentage of anti-American sentiment was recorded in May 2003 at 81% and it has remained fairly high since then.215   Secondly, in Pakistan, there has always been a general lack of concern regarding the welfare of the tribal people, due to them being at the periphery of the country. Therefore, now when people do express anger against drones, it has more to do with their use by the US and the resulting discourse in the media,216 as opposed to any concern about the civilian casualties. Otherwise, Pakistan military has been involved in killing civilians in FATA in far greater numbers,217 yet it is still the most favourable institution in the country.  According to a 2013 Pew Poll, roughly eight-in-ten (79%) Pakistanis thought that the military is having a positive influence on the nation.218 If people were genuinely concerned about the welfare of the civilians in the tribal areas, they would oppose military violence with the same vigour that they oppose the drone violence.  In the light of above mentioned evidence, I conclude that the local population is held hostage between the violence committed by the militants, the Pakistan military and the US drones. However, some of them prefer drone violence to other sources of violence in the area only because of the pragmatic reasons; drones take out militants while causing less “collateral damage” than other sources of violence. Combining this logic with the evidence of forcible recruitment, I argue that drone violence is not driving all the drone victims into the insurgents’ arms, contrary to what the “accidental guerilla” theory suggests. As a result, drones are an                                                  215 Fair et al., “Pakistani Opposition,”18.  216 Fair et al., “Pakistani Opposition.”  217 Jones and Fair, Counterinsurgency in Pakistan.  218 Pew Research Centre, “On Eve of Elections, a Dismal Public Mood in Pakistan.” 65    effective tool of targeted killing in the regions where militants have a predatory and violent relationship with the local population. The patterns of recruitment of national and foreign fighters do not follow a consistent trend when compared to an increase or decrease in the US drone strikes.  8.3.2 Yemen The US drone policy remains deeply unpopular in Yemen at a national level.219 However, similar to Pakistan, people in the drone hit provinces are facing three kinds of violence including the US drone strikes, AQAP militants and the military operations carried out by the Yemeni military. 8.3.2.1 Local Recruits  Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan reports that at the time of its founding in January 2009, approximately 50% of the AQAP members’ were Saudi nationals. However, soon some Yemenis from abroad also started to join the organization, including Anwar al-Awlaki.220 Awlaki was in contact with Wuhayshi (the leader of AQAP) by 2008, who soon appointed him the “head of external operations” after consulting with Bin Laden.221 By January 2009, only one drone strike had occurred in Yemen, that in 2002. This means that the formation and recruitment of this organization was already underway before the US drone program really commenced in Yemen, and it included a significant number of non-Yemeni recruits.   However, even if the AQAP was formed before the US drone program picked up pace in Yemen, some analysts have argued that drones still play a significant part in bolstering their                                                  219 Mashhour, “The United States’ Bloody Messes.” 220 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 91-92. 221 Ibid., 97.  66    ranks. Gregory D. Johnson, a Princeton scholar of AQAP, argues that “in December 2009, AQAP had roughly 200 to 300 members…Today it has over 1,000 members,” and drones have helped this growth.222 Moreover, there are anecdotal reports which suggest that local Yemenis have joined AQAP in order to take revenge for drone strike victims. At one instance, following a US drone strike on an Al Qaeda base which killed 5 civilians, “relatives of the victims took their blood stained clothes to Al Qaeda leaders and pledged their allegiance.”223 Similarly, Jeremy Scahill notes that after a US cruise missile strike in Al-Majalah, the sentiment in the area was, “if they kill innocent children and call them Al Qaeda, then we are all Al Qaeda.”224 This evidence is consistent with H03(b), suggesting that drones are an ineffective tool for targeted killing because they increase the support base for the targeted terrorist organization.  Others have challenged this assumption and argued that an increase in the number of AQAP members is driven by several factors.  Clint Watts mentions that starting in 2008, potential Yemeni Al Qaeda recruits who would have gone to Iraq, as well as foreign fighters returning from Iraq strengthened AQAP’s rank.225 Secondly, Saudi Arabia started to crack down on the local Al Qaeda operatives in 2006, sending the remaining fighters across the border into Yemen. Third, Al Qaeda had already identified Yemen as a safe haven before Bin Laden’s death and had begun to redirect operatives there.226 Therefore, in the case of Yemen, it was the                                                  222 Khan, “Understanding Yemen’s Al Qaeda Threat.” 223 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 88.  224 Scahill, Dirty Wars, 306.  225 It is interesting to note that 2008 was also the year when foreign fighters started to move to Pakistan from Iraq because it was seen as a “winning fight.” See Schmitt, “Militant Gains in Pakistan.”  226 Khan, “Understanding Yemen’s Al Qaeda Threat.” 67    movement of fighters towards Yemen from other conflict zones that brought with it an increase in the US drone strikes. In other words, “Drones don’t go and create terrorists, drones go where terrorists are already at.”227 In 2011, the number of the US drone strikes started to increase in Yemen, at the same time when they started to decrease in Pakistan.228   Furthermore, the opinion of the people who are in the drone hit areas differs from the opinion of the people in the rest of the country, challenging the idea that everyone is against drone strikes and joining these terrorist organizations as a reaction. Christopher Swift “conducted 40 interviews with tribal leaders, Islamist politicians, Salafist clerics, and other sources” in Yemen.229 He concluded that “none of the individuals…drew a causal relationship between U.S. drone strikes and al Qaeda recruiting.”230 He also found that the ordinary people have become much more pragmatic towards the use of drones, while still expressing concern over the civilian casualties.231  In sum, the above mentioned evidence is more consistent with H3 i.e. drones are an effective tool of targeted killing because they decrease the local support base of these terrorist organizations. Anecdotal reports of some members joining these organizations are not enough to conclude that it is a consistent trend among all the victims of drone strikes, especially without the accumulation of further data. Finally, future research should also look at the recruiting methods of AQAP to discover whether their recruits are voluntary fighters or forcibly recruited, in order                                                  227 American Enterprise Institute, “Battling Al Qaeda: Is the United States Winning?” Available at http://www.aei.org/events/2014/06/05/battling-al-qaeda-is-the-united-states-winning/ 228 New America Foundation, “International Security Data Site,” Available at http://securitydata.newamerica.net/ ; MacAskill and Bowcott, “UN Report Calls.” 229 Swift, “The Drone Blowback Fallacy.” 230 Ibid.  231 Ibid.  68    to gain a better understanding of their level of support [I was unable to find this information at this point].  8.3.2.2 National Recruits    In the case of Yemen, some suicide attackers have come from the capital as well as other relatively peaceful areas in Yemen. For example, the operatives who attacked the US Embassy in September 2008 were from Hudayda, which is a peaceful, non-tribal area on the western coast.232  On the other hand, the attacks on the US soil committed by AQAP were not even carried out by the drone victims. The December 25, 2009 attack on an American Airliner was undertaken by Umar Farouk Mutallib who was born in Nigeria, studied in England and came to Yemen inspired by Awlaki’s online sermons. He was looking for him in August 2009 and by October of that year, had already joined the jihad formally.233 It is worth mentioning that by that time, only one drone strike had occurred in Yemen, and that too in 2002. The next was a cruise missile strike (not a drone) that occurred on December 17, 2009, which killed approximately 41 civilians. Now, while the attack by Mutallib on December 25, 2009, followed that air strike, it’s planning and preparation was underway for a long time,234 meaning that AQAP was planning to attack the US homeland even before the US air strike took place, making it unlikely that the attack was a revenge for those civilian casualties.  Similarly, in 2010, the bombs in the ink-toner cartridges were addressed to two synagogues in Chicago. Though the attempt failed, the statement released by AQAP in their online magazine Inspire following the attack listed their reasons for the attack. “Today we are                                                  232 Barfi, “Yemen on the Brink?” 5.   233 Johnsen, The Last Refuge.  234 Ibid.   69    facing a coalition of Crusaders and Zionists and we in al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula will never forget Palestine. How can we forget it when our motto is: ‘Here we start and in al-Aqsa we meet’? So we listed the address of the ‘Congregation Or Chadash,’ a Gay and Lesbian synagogue on our one of our packages. The second package was sent to “Congregation B'nai Zion.” Both synagogues are in Chicago, Obama's city.”235 They did not even mention drones in their statement. This evidence seems somewhat consistent with H3 as these attacks do not seem to be occurring in reaction to drones. However, within Yemen, there has been an increase in the attacks carried out since 2010 when the number of drone strikes started to increase, and most of the targets have been security installations.236At some of these instances, AQAP has mentioned the issue of drones, and Yemeni government’s cooperation with the US, as a reason behind their attacks. For example, on December 6, 2013, an attack on the Yemen’s Defence Headquarters killed over 52 people (including civilians). “Some of the Qaeda-linked sites said the militants were seeking revenge for Yemen’s coordination with the United States on drone strikes that have killed members of Al Qaeda.”237 If after tracking the profiles of these attackers, the evidence showed that they were the victims of drone strikes, then such an evidence would give credence to the “accidental guerilla” theory in the case of Yemen (This data is unavailable at this point, leaving the strength of H03(b) indeterminate). However, if not, then an increase in the number of attacks on the militants’ part                                                  235 Inspire Issue 3, “The Objectives of Operation Hemorrhage,” 7.   236 University of Chicago, “Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism,” Available at http://cpostdata.uchicago.edu/search_new.php 237 Arrabyye and Hubbard, “Attack on Yemen’s Defence.”   70    can also show desperation. In other words, they might be using the strategies of attrition or intimidation on the security forces in order to stop them from pursuing AQAP militants in any way, whether violent or non-violent.238  8.3.2.3 Foreign Recruits   The issue of the foreign fighters is a complex one in the case of Yemen due to contradictory reports. As mentioned before, at the time of its founding, approximately 50% of AQAP’s membership was from Saudi Arabia. Moreover, its current propaganda efforts are especially geared towards pointing out the local Yemeni and Saudi problems to attract recruits.239 However, it is not clear how many people from the western countries are joining the organization. Gregory D Johnson reports that in early 2012, “Al Qaeda had plenty of bombs; what it lacked was individuals with passports that would allow them to travel freely in the West,”240 despite the fact that drone strikes started to increase in Yemen since 2011.241 Recently however, President Hadi claimed that more than 70 percent of the AQAP members in Yemen were foreigners.242 There have been reports of recruits coming from Chechnya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Brazil, Netherlands, Australia, France and other countries.243 In other words, while foreigners are joining AQAP, they are not always coming from the countries which AQAP wants to hit the most, such as the US or the UK. Moreover, the number of foreign fighters does not continue to increase in Yemen specifically in reaction to drones, since the new generation of                                                  238 Kydd and Walter, “The Strategies of Terrorism.” 239 Barfi, “Yemen on the Brink?” 6. 240 Johnsen, The Last Refuge, 285. 241 New America Foundation, “Drone Wars Yemen: Analysis,” Available at http://securitydata.newamerica.net/drones/yemen/analysis 242 Al-Muslimi, “Yemen Forces Take Lead.”  243 SABA, “70 Percent;”National Yemen, “Yemen Army Kills.”  71    foreign fighters is increasingly going to Syria, even when drone strikes continue inside Yemen.244  Finally, just like Pakistan, anti-Americanism in Yemen predates drones. Abdel Bari Atwan notes that the 9/11 attacks were widely celebrated in Yemen, based on the sentiment that finally America had been “struck.”245 Furthermore, Bin Laden was seen as a hero because of his Yemeni ancestry.246 It is unclear if drones have resulted in increasing that sentiment significantly, or are they just amplifying what was already present under the surface. I was unable to find the Pew Data in the case of Yemen.  In sum, drone strikes remain deeply unpopular in Yemen at a national level. However, while there are anecdotal reports of individuals joining the AQAP as a reaction to drones, there is no available data which indicates that this is a consistent trend among all drone victims. In fact, the behaviour of the tribes at a collective level is driven by pragmatic concerns about their own security and survival. Some attackers who did carry out suicide attacks inside Yemen were not the victims of drone strikes, though further data is needed in order to make a determinate conclusion about AQAP’s recruitment at the national level. Reports on the foreign fighters in the case of Yemen are contradictory, making it difficult to reach a definitive conclusion. However, no report seems to suggest that they are continuously and specifically joining AQAP in Yemen as a reaction to drone strikes, especially since the Syrian conflict has started to expand on the international scene.                                                   244 Hegghammer, “Calculated Caliphate.” 245 Atwan, After Bin Laden, 90. 246 Ibid., 87. 72    9. Data Limitations Due to the covert nature of this policy, accurate data about the number of drone strikes in the “non-traditional” battlefields, and the resulting deaths of both the militants and the civilians is not available. While the numbers provided by the US administration are criticized because of their controversial definitions of “militant,” and “civilians,” the datasets compiled by the human rights organizations, independent think tanks and the journalistic sources are also not without their problems. In the case of Pakistan, most of these organizations do not have independent access to FATA due to the precarious security condition and the restrictions placed by the Pakistan Army. Therefore, they rely on the reports in the Pakistani media, or unnamed Pakistani officials, who can exaggerate or lower the number of deaths depending on the political situation.247 Some of these similar issues exist in the case of Yemen as well.248  Secondly, in the conflict-zones of these states, drones are not the only source of violence. The deaths and destruction caused by the local militaries’ operations and the militants is also present and at times, far greater in magnitude.249 Therefore, there is a need to employ forensic experts to verify whether the injuries claimed to be caused by drones are in fact caused by them, or are a result of militant/military violence.250 Third, there is a need to compile a “recruits’ profile database” for AQC, the Pakistani Taliban and AQAP to determine how many of them were actual victims of drone strikes, and how many were recruited through other means. This will give a much clear indication of how                                                  247 International Crisis Group, “Drones: Myths and Reality in Pakistan.” 248 Fair, “Ethical and Methodological Issues.” 249 Amnesty International, “The Hands of Cruelty.” 250 Fair, “For Now, Drones Are the Best Option.”  73    drones are affecting the support base of these organizations, as opposed to just relying on anecdotal accounts or arguing theoretically that the “revenge” factor is at play here.   Finally, just observing an increase in the raw number of terrorist attacks following the US drone strikes is not enough to argue that they are in reaction to drones. It is also important to look at their targets and divide them not just into the categories of “civilian” or “military,” but also “sectarian,” something that the University of Chicago’s database does not do at this point. In other words, if an increase in the terrorist attacks subsequent to drone strikes is on the military or political targets, it might be in reaction to drones because people want revenge from those who are involved with the drone policy; but if these groups are attacking civilians specifically due to their religious identity, then it is hard to argue that sectarian violence is in reaction to drones. Future research should look at not just the number of attacks, but also the targets of those attacks, in order to determine the population’s reaction to drones.   74    10. Conclusion The issue of targeted killing by drones has become so politically charged that it is very difficult to have any rational discussion about their use in the public arena. The focus on the civilian casualties caused by drones [which is important] should not take away our attention from the gruesome brutalities of the terrorist groups, which are deliberately carried out against civilians. In today’s world, we unfortunately have to deal with groups who do not want to resolve conflicts through peaceful means, and against whom, just verbal condemnation is not enough. Focusing on the drone casualties while ignoring the situation in which they are employed is not only a reductionist approach, it is also disrespectful to the victims of terrorism often forgotten by the same media and human rights organizations who are the most vocal against the US drone strikes.251  While my research is far from conclusive, I argue that drones are an effective tool of targeted killing against hierarchical organizations who have a predatory and violent relationship with the population among which they operate. In my case studies, they are being most effective against AQC, followed by AQAP and the least effective against the Pakistani Taliban. Future research needs to collect more empirical data in order to reach a stronger conclusion.  However, this does not let the US off the hook. There are very serious concerns about how this policy is being executed at this point. There is no transparency about the CIA drone program, and even the JSOC is criticized for their lack of transparency and accountability. While one argument is that transparency will help the US take away the narrative from the extremists,                                                  251 Fair, “The Pakistan Army’s Foray into North Waziristan.” 75    and stop them from spreading propaganda and anti-Americanism, I do not think that this is true. Even if the US kills no civilians, it is not going to mitigate anti-Americanism in Pakistan, Yemen or the rest of the Muslim world anytime soon. Anti-Americanism in the region long predates drones, and it is not limited to the issue of drones. US needs to do this for their domestic audiences, to debate allegations that it is an illegal or unethical program, as well as for setting a precedent at an international level which it would want other states to follow.252   Secondly, the issue of “mission creep” is true in the case of the current US’s drone policy. Drones have targeted operatives and organizations that arguably, do not pose a significant or imminent threat to the US’s security.253 US needs to clearly identify and prioritize the groups and operatives against whom it is necessary to use drones. While local governments in Pakistan, Yemen, and also Iraq have asked the US to supply them with drones; US should not do that since these states are going to use drones for their own political and security objectives, which are not aligned with the US interests in the region.  During his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Obama intelligently argued why the use of lethal force is an unfortunate reality in today’s world, especially in the situations where not using lethal force would be unethical.254 However, even while using drones for the killing of terrorists, US should make sure that it does not end up acting like those against whom it claims to fight, even if it has superior technology. In the words of one of the greatest philosophers of our times, Dumbledore, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”                                                   252 Brooks, “The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications.” 253 Brooks, “Mission Creep.” 254 The White House, “Remarks by the President.” 76    Bibliography Adams, Lorraine and Ayesha Nasir. “Inside the mind of the Times Square bomber.” The  Guardian. 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