We have mastered the art of hunting men. Refined over nearly two decades of nonstop counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, and enhanced by a suite of increasingly powerful technological tools, the United States military has developed an extraordinary ability to find, fix, and finish targets worldwide.
The manhunt has been a central thrust of our military strategy since the 9/11 attacks. We have hunted Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Anwar al-Awlaki, an entire deck of cards worth of Saddam Hussein's regime, and countless other lesser-known targets around the world. In the early years of the Global War on Terrorism, it became a running joke that the most dangerous job in the world was to be the number three man in al-Qaeda—such was the frequency with which that position was violently vacated.