Share this

Drone Warfare, Sarah Kreps and John Kaag

Reviewed by Audrey Kurth Cronin

BUY

 

This book is a discussion of the ethical, legal, and political challenges of using armed drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) in U.S. military and intelligence operations. Many of the themes are familiar. The beauty of the book is that it pulls together key points into one well-written narrative, placing drones within a broader strategic and historical perspective.

The book’s central argument is that the use of armed drones is corrosive to democracy, as it shields the populace from the consequences of the use of force. Armed drones thus create a “moral hazard,” increasing the incentives for states to engage in risky behavior. The authors argue that the United States is faced with “unprecedented strategic choices” (p. 17) comparable to those confronted in the aftermath of World War II.

Divided into six chapters, Drone Warfare begins with a straightforward introduction to the technology and its recent history. The authors explain heated debates over the rate of civilian casualties and recent Barack Obama administration practices such as “signature strikes,” “personality strikes,” kill lists, and targeting U.S. citizens. The chapter ends with a warning about the proliferation of armed drones into the arsenals of dozens of other states.

Having laid out the technology and recent contro

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Developments in Beijing

The Varieties of Collective Financial Statecraft: The BRICS and China
LESLIE ELLIOTT ARMIJO

Chinese Thinking on the South China Sea and the Future of Regional Security
FENG ZHANG

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS