Ann Rogers and John Hill write for Jane’s Intelligence Review, owned by IHS, a global consultancy covering many sectors including defence and security intelligence.
Chris Cole writes:
“Chapter by chapter the book investigates the key aspects of the use of armed drones including tracing their history, the effect on military doctrine, ethical and legal issues, the impact on the ground and the push towards greater autonomy.
“Drones, the book contends, are helping to normalise the use of States “targeting individuals with military-scale force” and blurring the lines between law enforcement and military action giving rise to what the authors call nano-wars. They state: “the serious battering of just war conventions by US drone strikes contributes to a new set of norms that are likely to be regressive to the causes of peace and international stability.
“The book argues that in certain cases just because drones can be used to target individuals, they are being used whether this is effective in achieving the overall goals of creating security or not. In fact the authors argue in Pakistan and Yemen not only are the strikes failing to isolate the insurgency from the population, they are antagonising populations and radicalising the “pre-insurgent” and it is perhaps the US who is becoming increasing isolated from the international community over the strikes . . .
“While some accounts from drone pilots are beginning to leak out, the reality of the drone wars from the perspective of the drone pilot is still to be voiced . . . “
Cole ends: “The final question the book poses is whether the rise in use of drones is desirable in terms of global security. The authors – along with more and more people around the globe – conclude that they are not”.
A version of this review originally appeared in Peace News but is not yet on its website.