Was decapitation strike against Taliban leader part of a messaging strategy?
I tend to think strategies aimed at the destruction of the enemy are more effective than "messaging strategies." However, if this strike had a message it was to the Taliban that they should not threaten US troops in Afghanistan. The message to Pakistan is that their sanctuary for the Taliban attacking US forces will not be honored. Neither of these "messages" hints at the destruction of the enemy.
President Obama described Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour’s death as an “important milestone,” but it also illustrated the tangled relationship between Washington and Islamabad.