A Primer on the U.S. Use of Unmanned Aircraft Outside Conventional Battlefields
Author: Avery Plaw
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Political Science
The Drone Debate offers a thorough investigation of the where, why, how, and when of the U.S.’s use of UAVs. Beginning with a historical overview of the use of drones in warfare, it then addresses whether targeted killing operations are strategically wise, whether they are permissible under international law, and the related ethical issues. It also looks at the political factors behind the use of drones, including domestic and global attitudes toward their use and potential issues of proliferation and escalation. Finally, the use of drones by other countries, such as Israel and China, is examined. Each chapter features a case study that highlights particular incidents and patterns of operation in specific regions, including Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Libya and strike types (signature strikes, personality strikes, etc.).
Does the lethal use of drones pose any new or difficult moral problems? Or is the controversy over these weapons merely a distraction from deeper questions regarding the justice of war and the United States' bellicose foreign policy? Opposing Perspectives on the Drone Debate pulls no punches in answering these questions as five scholars square off in a lively debate over the ethics of drones and their contentious use in a point-counterpoint debate. The contributing authors are some of the foremost thinkers in international affairs today, spanning the disciplines of philosophy, sociology, political science, and law. Topics debated range from the US's contested policy of so-called "targeted killing" in Pakistan's tribal regions to fears over the damaging effects such weaponry has on our democratic institutions to the more abstract moral questions raised by killing via remote control such as the duty to capture over kill.
The book examines principal arguments for and against the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and 'targeted killing.' Addressing both sides of the argument with clear and cogent details, the book provides a thorough introduction to ongoing debate about the future of warfare and its ethical implications.
How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam
Author: Akbar Ahmed
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Category: Political Science
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the United States declared war on terrorism. More than ten years later, the results are decidedly mixed. Here world-renowned author, diplomat, and scholar Akbar Ahmed reveals an important yet largely ignored result of this war: in many nations it has exacerbated the already broken relationship between central governments and the largely rural Muslim tribal societies on the peripheries of both Muslim and non-Muslim nations. The center and the periphery are engaged in a mutually destructive civil war across the globe, a conflict that has been intensified by the war on terror. Conflicts between governments and tribal societies predate the war on terror in many regions, from South Asia to the Middle East to North Africa, pitting those in the centers of power against those who live in the outlying provinces. Akbar Ahmed's unique study demonstrates that this conflict between the center and the periphery has entered a new and dangerous stage with U.S. involvement after 9/11 and the deployment of drones, in the hunt for al Qaeda, threatening the very existence of many tribal societies. American firepower and its vast anti-terror network have turned the war on terror into a global war on tribal Islam. And too often the victims are innocent children at school, women in their homes, workers simply trying to earn a living, and worshipers in their mosques. Battered by military attacks or drone strikes one day and suicide bombers the next, the tribes bemoan, "Every day is like 9/11 for us." In The Thistle and the Drone, the third volume in Ahmed's groundbreaking trilogy examining relations between America and the Muslim world, the author draws on forty case studies representing the global span of Islam to demonstrate how the U.S. has become involved directly or indirectly in each of these societies. The study provides the social and historical context necessary to understand how both central governments and tribal societies have become embroiled in America's war. Beginning with Waziristan and expanding to societies in Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere, Ahmed offers a fresh approach to the conflicts studied and presents an unprecedented paradigm for understanding and winning the war on terror. The Thistle and the Drone was the 2013 Foreword Reviews Gold winner for Political Science.
Agenda Vetting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security
Author: Charli Carpenter
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Political Science
Why do some issues and threats—diseases, weapons, human rights abuses, vulnerable populations—get more global policy attention than others? How do global activist networks decide the particular causes for which they advocate among the many problems in need of solutions? According to Charli Carpenter, the answer lies in the politics of global issue networks themselves. Building on surveys, focus groups, and analyses of issue network websites, Carpenter concludes that network access has a direct relation to influence over how issues are ranked. Advocacy elites in nongovernmental and transnational organizations judge candidate issues not just on their merit but on how the issues connect to specific organizations, individuals, and even other issues. In "Lost" Causes, Carpenter uses three case studies of emerging campaigns to show these dynamics at work: banning infant male circumcision; compensating the wartime killing and maiming of civilians; and prohibiting the deployment of fully autonomous weapons (so-called killer robots). The fate of each of these campaigns was determined not just by the persistence and hard work of entrepreneurs but by advocacy elites’ perception of the issues’ network ties. Combining sweeping analytical argument with compelling narrative, Carpenter reveals how the global human security agenda is determined.
Philosophers have wrestled over the morality and ethics of war for nearly as long as human beings have been waging it. The death and destruction that unmanned warfare entails magnifies the moral and ethical challenges we face in conventional warfare and everyday society. This book provides a comprehensive and unifying analysis of the moral, political and social questions concerning the rise of drone warfare.
The increased military employment of remotely operated aerial vehicles, also known as drones, has raised a wide variety of important ethical questions, concerns, and challenges. Many of these have not yet received the serious scholarly examination such worries rightly demand. This volume attempts to fill that gap through sustained analysis of a wide range of specific moral issues that arise from this new form of killing by remote control. Many, for example, are troubled by the impact that killing through the mediated mechanisms of a drone half a world away has on the pilots who fly them. What happens to concepts such as bravery and courage when a war-fighter controlling a drone is never exposed to any physical danger? This dramatic shift in risk also creates conditions of extreme asymmetry between those who wage war and those they fight. What are the moral implications of such asymmetry on the military that employs such drones and the broader questions for war and a hope for peace in the world going forward? How does this technology impact the likely successes of counter-insurgency operations or humanitarian interventions? Does not such weaponry run the risk of making war too easy to wage and tempt policy makers into killing when other more difficult means should be undertaken? Killing By Remote Control directly engages all of these issues. Some essays discuss the just war tradition and explore whether the rise of drones necessitates a shift in the ways we think about the ethics of war in the broadest sense. Others scrutinize more specific uses of drones, such as their present use in what are known as "targeted killing" by the United States. The book similarly tackles the looming prospect of autonomous drones and the many serious moral misgivings such a future portends. "A path-breaking volume! BJ Strawser, an internationally known analyst of drone ethics, has assembled a broad spectrum of civilian and military experts to create the first book devoted to this hot-button issue. This important work represents vanguard thinking on weapon systems that make headlines nearly every day. It will catalyze debates policy-makers and military leaders must have in order to preserve peace and protect the innocent. - James Cook, Department Chair/Head of Philosophy, US Air Force Academy "The use of 'drones' (remotely piloted air vehicles) in war has grown exponentially in recent years. Clearly, this evolution presages an enormous explosion of robotic vehicles in war - in the air, on the ground, and on and under the sea. This collection of essays provides an invaluable contribution to what promises to be one of the most fundamental challenges to our assumptions about ethics and warfare in at least the last century. The authors in this anthology approach the ethical challenges posed by these rapidly advancing technologies from a wide range of perspectives. Cumulatively, they represent an essential overview of the fundamental ethical issues involved in their development. This collection makes a key contribution to an urgently needed dialogue about the moral questions involved." - Martin L. Cook, Adm. James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics, Professor Leadership & Ethics, College of Operational & Strategic Leadership, U.S. Naval War College
The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare
Author: Lloyd C. Gardner
Publisher: The New Press
With Obama’s election to the presidency in 2008, many believed the United States had entered a new era: Obama came into office with high expectations that he would end the war in Iraq and initiate a new foreign policy that would reestablish American values and the United States’ leadership role in the world. In this shattering new assessment, historian Lloyd C. Gardner argues that, despite cosmetic changes, Obama has simply built on the expanding power base of presidential power that reaches back across decades and through multiple administrations. The new president ended the “enhanced interrogation” policy of the Bush administration but did not abandon the concept of preemption. Obama withdrew from Iraq but has institutionalized drone warfare—including the White House’s central role in selecting targets. What has come into view, Gardner argues, is the new face of American presidential power: high–tech, secretive, global, and lethal. Killing Machine skillfully narrates the drawdown in Iraq, the counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan, the rise of the use of drones, and targeted assassinations from al-Awlaki to Bin Laden—drawing from the words of key players in these actions as well as their major public critics. With unparalleled historical perspective, Gardner’s book is the new touchstone for understanding not only the Obama administration but the American presidency itself.
While conventional warfare has an established body of legal precedence, the legality of drone strikes by the United States in Pakistan and elsewhere remains ambiguous. This book explores the legal and political issues surrounding the use of drones in Pakistan. Drawing from international treaty law, customary international law, and statistical data on the impact of the strikes, Sikander Ahmed Shah asks whether drone strikes by the United States in Pakistan are in compliance with international humanitarian law. The book questions how international law views the giving of consent between States for military action, and explores what this means for the interaction between sovereignty and consent. The book goes on to look at the socio-political realities of drone strikes in Pakistan, scrutinizing the impact of drone strikes on both Pakistani politics and US-Pakistan relationships. Topics include the Pakistan army-government relationship, the evolution of international institutions as a result of drone strikes, and the geopolitical dynamics affecting the region. As a detailed and critical examination of the legal and political challenges presented by drone strikes, this book will be essential to scholars and students of the law of armed conflict, security studies, political science and international relations.