Suicide Bombing

We’ve always suspected suicide bombing is a lousy tactic, and now some academics proved us right.

The report (hat tip the in-disgrace Daily Telegraph):

The Shape of Things to Come? Assessing the Effectiveness of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings
by David A. Jaeger, Daniele Paserman
(June 2007)

In this paper we assess the effectiveness of suicide attacks and targeted killings in the Second Intifada.

We find evidence that the targeted killings of Palestinian leaders by Israel reduce realized Palestinian violence.

We find, however, that intended Palestinian violence is increasing at low levels of targeted killings, but decreasing at higher levels.

There is little evidence to suggest that suicide bombings against Israelis reduce the number of subsequent Palestinian fatalities. Rather, we find that suicide attacks that kill at least one Israeli lead to subsequent increased incidence and levels of Palestinian fatalities.

Our results do not support the notion that suicide attacks and targeted killings follow the “tit-for-tat” pattern that is commonly postulated in the literature.
Text: See Discussion Paper No. 2890

The full report is quite conclusive.

Lefties will hate the debunking of their “cycle of violence” model, especially since it turns out Israel retaliates only against successful suicide bombings and leaves the attempted ones unpunished.


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