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Palgrave Macmillan

Analyzing the Drone Debates

Targeted Killings, Remote Warfare, and Military Technology

ISBN 9781137393074
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot

This book examines the principal arguments for and against the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and "targeted killing." While generally avoiding taking sides, this work informs the reader of the current and future role of remotely piloted aircrafts in both war and peace times. It summarizes the viewpoints of scholars and policymakers on whether drone warfare is effective, legal, and ethical. Among some of the controversial aspects discussed are the degree of precision in targeted killing exercises, whether civilian casualties are high or low, whether drones increase or decrease global terrorism, if killing someone remotely in a risk-free environment is unethical, and how personal privacy may be eroded by persistent surveillance from law enforcement operation of drones.

James DeShaw Rae is Associate Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, USA. He received his PhD in Political Science at the University of Hawai'i. He is the author of Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice in East Timor.

1. Introduction
2. National Security and the Efficacy of Drone Warfare
3. Targeted Killing and the Legality of Drone Warfare
4. Remote Killing and the Ethics of Drone Warfare
5. Public Policy, Privacy, and Drone Technology
6. Conclusion


"This is a must read for anyone, especially for students and practitioners of public policy, interested in the controversial subject of the use of drones in warfare. This book provides a timely, valuable, comprehensive, and concise account of the subject from the perspectives of national security, law, ethics, and public policy. The readers will appreciate James Rae's nuanced and balanced scrutiny of competing claims that illuminate and clarify the complex picture surrounding the use of drones. His vivid and compelling writing style exudes forthright pragmatism while he walks the readers past narrow viewpoints and soundbites to draw their own informed conclusions before presenting his own." -Mahabat Baimyrzaeva, Associate Professor Monterey Institute of International Studies, Middlebury College, USA
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