Special Forces Training





Info about
Special Forces

SOF News

National Guard
Special Forces



Site Map


This website is an
Amazon Associate
and earns money for
qualifying purchases.

Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal


Warrant-Based Targeting

Home > Training > Adv Skills > Intel > Warrant-Based Targeting

Warrant-based targeting was introduced to the Iraq conflict toward the later part of the war - towards the end of 2008. As the Iraqi police and judicial system matured the U.S. Army decided (actually forced to by a revised status-of-forces agreement with Iraq) to follow a prosecution-oriented strategy to capture of enemy combatants. This meant that the Iraqi judges played a critical role in authorizing (issuing a warrant) targeted captures and searches and in the prosecution of the captured insurgent.

This move to warrant-based targeting was opposed by many who noted the corruption of the Iraqi police and the unreliability of the nascent Iraqi judicial system. In most cases, U.S. troops needed to secure a warrant from an Iraqi judge before arresting an insurgent. In fast moving situations where an insurgent was identified it was sometimes impossible to obtain a warrant from an Iraqi judge in a timely manner (if at all). The Iraqi police and judiciary system were notorious for accepting bribes and alerting insurgents of newly issued warrants.

Vulnerability of Witnesses. For a judge to issue a warrant for a search or arrest two witnesses to the crime have to provide sworn statements. The witnesses will have to testify before judges, prosecutors and other observers which leaves them open to retaliation.

Below you will find references, papers and publications about warrant-based targeting.

Military Publications about Warrant-Based Targeting

DA, Police Intelligence Operations, ATTP 3-39.20 (FM 3-19.50), July 2010, Headquarters, Department of the Army.

CALL, Forensics and Warrant-Based Targeting, Newsletter No. 10-35, March 2010, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, (FOUO).

Government Publications on Warrant-Based Targeting

DOJ, Criminal Intelligence Resources Guide: A Collection of Intelligence Information Sharing Products and Resources, April 2012.
http://leiu.org/ . . . guide.pdf

International Organizations - Pubs on Warrant-Based Targeting

UN, Police Information and Intelligence Systems: Criminal Justice Assessment Toolkit, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2006. Access at this link.

Journals and Magazines on Warrant-Based Targeting

Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (JPICT). A referred journal of the Department of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism of Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Access at this link.

Publications and Papers on Warrant-Based Targeting


Barta, Jeff, Jessica Caddell, and Scott Goldman. "Adding the Warrant to Your Quiver: Ten Tenets of Warrant Based Targeting", Small Wars Journal, April 27, 2014.
http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/adding-the-warrant . . .

Voetelink, Joop, EvBO: Evidence-Based Operations: How to Remove the Bad Guys from the Battlefield (February 25, 2014). Journal of International Law and Peace and Armed Conflict, 4/2013, p. 194-201; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2014-16; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2014-0. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2400965.


Atkins, Major Andrew R., "Doctrinally Accounting for Host Nation Sovereignty During U.S. Counterinsurgency Security Operations", Military Law Review, Vol 212, p. 70-132, 2012.
https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/DOCLIBS . . .

Chesney, Robert. Moving to Warrant-Based Targeting and the Law Enforcement Model in Afghanistan?,  Lawfare Blog, March 20, 2012.
http://www.lawfareblog.com/ . . . moving-to-warrant-based-targeting . . .

Govern, Kevin H., "Warrant Based Targeting: Prosecution-Oriented Capture and Detention and Moral Alternatives to Targeting Killing", Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 29, No. 3, (2012).


ISAF, Afghanistan Theater of Operations Evidence Collection Guide" Supporting Afghanistan's Formal Justice Sector, April 2011.


Berlin, Steve D., "Conviction-Focused Targeting: Targeting Violent Extremists While Developing Rule of Law Capacity", Small Wars Journal, August 24, 2010.

News Reports on Warrant-Based Targeting

March 21, 2012. "Warrants May be Required for Afghan Night Raids by U.S. Special Forces". Afghan War News.

March 12, 2012. "Warrant-Based Targeting and Law Enforcement Model for Afghanistan?", Afghan War News.

May 19, 2009. It takes a village: warrant-based targeting for Soldiers deploying to Iraq, DVIDS.

December 30, 2008. "New Rules in Iraq Add Police Work to Troops' Jobs". The New York Times.

December 11, 2008. "U.S. Troops Adjusting to the New Reality in Iraq". Wired.com Danger Room.

November 30, 2008. "Warrants expected to slow arrests in Iraq". The New York Times.

November 21, 2008. "U.S. to begin using search warrants in Iraq", The Washington Times.


Home > Training > Adv Skills > Intel > Warrant-Based Targeting


Books about Special Forces Training

View our selection of books about Special Forces at the SOF News Book Shop.

Books on Special Forces training

We are an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.


Copyright 2011-2024
To add information, correct information, or report broken links on this page
please contact the webmaster at: staff @ sof.news