After claiming credit for killing Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad International Airport, Donald Trump said that the world was now a “safer place.” This viewpoint was perhaps understandable, given Soleimani’s position as the commander of Iran’s Quds Force and his role in developing the Badr Organization in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and the Houthi movement in Yemen, among numerous other fighting outfits around the world. At the heart of this sprawling violent network stood Soleimani.

But tonight Tehran claimed responsibility for launching missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq. And the record shows that removing leaders often leads to more chaotic violence—particularly against civilians.

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