I just got through watching the excellent second season of the Netflix series Narcos. Which ends with (spoiler alert) Pablo Escobar dead on the roof of a house in Medellin; and his eponymous cartel destroyed. As a result, it's now impossible to buy cocaine on the streets of America's cities. Right. Watching the series I was struck by how similar the effort to take down Pablo Escobar was to the efforts America exerted in the intervening years to "take down" other individuals, specifically Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Efforts that, ultimately, were successful in their stated aims: We killed Osama and we killed Saddam. And yet just as "killing Pablo" appears to have negligible effect in reducing the flow of drugs to our country; so too does the killing of bin Laden and Saddam Hussein seem to have failed in eliminating Islamic terrorism, or making Iraq (or the Middle East) any less of a dangerous place. This isn't to say the United States shouldn't pursue individual criminals and terrorists to bring them to justice. But it should serve, perhaps, as a reminder that individual criminals and terrorists are more frequently a symptom of a problem we as a society or a nation face rather than a root cause.