Our bombs were plenty smart. But our targeting during Gulf War II was dumb. Of the 50 "decapitation strikes" American forces launched during the conflict, none took out their intended marks in the Iraqi leadership.Slate's Fred Kaplan has the details.
The capture of Saddam Hussein dramatically illustrates an ancient, but often forgotten, principle of warfare: It's easy to kill people but very hard to kill a person.Saddam's nabbing took thousands of Army and special-ops forces, interrogating hundreds of loyalists, tracking dozens of leads, and, in the end, one soldier spotting an out-of-place thread of fabric on what turned out to be a secret cover, then lifting the lid to find the Butcher of Baghdad himself hiding in the bottom of a hole.It was the work of armed troops on the ground, close-up, ultimately at arm's length. It could not have been accomplished by pilots dropping smart bombs from two miles high in the sky.