Source: ABC News
The U.S. military has used high value targeting of insurgent leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the CIA also uses drone strikes to target high value al Qaeda targets in Pakistan and Yemen.
The 18 page secret document is dated July 7, 2009 and is entitled “Best Practices in Counterinsurgency: Making High Value Targeting Operations an Effective Counterinsurgency Tool”.
The anti-secrecy Wikileaks posted the report on its website Thursday. A press release accompanying the release said the report was compiled by the CIA’s Office of Transnational Issues and “weighs the pros and cons of killing “insurgent” leaders in assassination plots.”
A CIA spokesperson declined to comment on Wikileak’s posting of the report and its contents.
High Value Targets is the term used to describe senior leaders in insurgent organizations. They can be targeted in airstrikes or operations where they are captured for their intelligence value.
The report is a historical analysis that found both positive and negative effects from high value targeting. One key finding from the review “suggests that HVT operations can play a useful role when they are part of a broader counterinsurgency strategy.” More to the point the report said the targeting is most effective when a country decides on a strategic outcome before beginning the HVT track and also integrate into other military and civilian counterinsurgency operations.