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Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict

Ethical, Legal, and Strategic Implications

David Cortright Rachel Fairhurst Kristen Wall



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University of Chicago Press
21 April 2017
Defence strategy, planning & research; Weapons & equipment
During the past decade, armed drones have entered the American military arsenal as a core tactic for countering terrorism. When coupled with access to reliable information, they make it possible to deploy lethal force accurately across borders while keeping one's own soldiers out of harm's way. The potential to direct force with great precision also offers the possibility of reducing harm to civilians. At the same time, because drones eliminate some of the traditional constraints on the use of force-like the need to gain political support for full mobilization-they lower the threshold for launching military strikes. The development of drone use capacity across dozens of countries increases the need for global standards on the use of these weapons to assure that their deployment is strategically wise and ethically and legally sound.

Presenting a robust conversation among leading scholars in the areas of international legal standards, counterterrorism strategy, humanitarian law, and the ethics of force, Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict takes account of current American drone campaigns and the developing legal, ethical, and strategic implications of this new way of warfare. Among the contributions to this volume are a thorough examination of the American government's legal justifications for the targeting of enemies using drones, an analysis of American drone campaigns' notable successes and failures, and a discussion of the linked issues of human rights, freedom of information, and government accountability.
Edited by:   David Cortright, Rachel Fairhurst, Kristen Wall
Imprint:   University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 166mm,  Spine: 17mm
Weight:   514g
ISBN:   9780226478364
ISBN 10:   022647836X
Pages:   308
Publication Date:   21 April 2017
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David Cortright is director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of several books, including Ending Obama's War: Responsible Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan. Rachel Fairhurst and Kristen Wall are former research assistants at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Reviews for Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict: Ethical, Legal, and Strategic Implications

Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict is a welcome addition to the growing literature on drone warfare, bringing together specialists on strategy, human rights, ethics, and law to discuss the implications of drone use for each of these areas. In particular, Cortright and Fairhurst make a forceful and convincing case for why drones or a militarized strategy more generally should not be central to our counterterrorism policy. --Sarah Kreps, Cornell University

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