Library

BooksThe Drone Wars Library consists of key documents and important articles on the use of drones divided into various categories.   If you think we have missed an important link, please do let us know.

|   Autonomy   |   Civil use of drones   |    Civilian casualties   |   Drone pilots   |    Ethics   |   Health issues   |   Israel and drones   |   Legal issues   |   Overview   |   Proliferation   |   Targeted Killing   |   UK drone operations   |   US drone operations   |


AUTONOMY

Nov 2013 UN: Nations Agree to Address ‘Killer Robots’ HRW reports UN agrees to investigate autonomous weapons
June 2013 UK says killer robots will not meet requirements of international law Article 36 reports on UK parliamentary debate on Lethal Autonomous Robotics
June 2013 Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur calls for pre-emptive ban on autonomous weaponry Guardian article on Christof Heyns report
April 2013 Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns Chrisof Heyns report to UN Human Rights Council on lethal autonomous weaponry
April 2013 Killer Robots: UK Government Policy on Fully Autonomous Weapons Article 36 surveys UK government policy on autonomous weaponry
Nov 2012 Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots Human Rights Watch briefing on fully

CIVIL USE OF DRONES

Jan 2014 Putting Drones to the Test NYT calls for legislation to protect public from domestic use of drones
Nov 2013 Integration of Civil UAS in National Airspace Roadmap FAA’s plans for integrating drones into US airspace
Oct 2013 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: A New Industrial System? Discussion paper from Royal Aeronautical Society focused on producers
Jun 2013 Challenging Privacy? The civil use of drones in the UK Notes and documents from APPG meeting on civil use of drones
Jan 2013 Revealed: who can fly drones in UK airspace Guardian details who has permission to fly UAVs in UK
Oct 2012 Roundtable: development of civilian UAVs Discussion of civil use of drones in UK by industry experts
Sep 2012 Towards a European strategy for the development of civil applications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems European Commission working document on opening European civil airspace to unmanned drones by 2016
Jan 2011 Attack of the Drones – The Guardian How police and civil authorities are catching up with military use of drones

CIVILIAN CASUALTIES

Feb 2014 Civilian drone deaths triple in Afghanistan, UN agency finds UNAMA data shows increase in civilian casualties from drone strikes
Jan 2014 What really happened when a U.S. drone hit a Yemeni wedding convoy? Investigation into Dec 2013 US drone strike that killed civilians
Jul 2013 US drone strikes more deadly to Afghan civilians than manned aircraft – adviser Study contradicts drone precision claims
Mar 2013 Drone attacks ‘traumatising a generation of children’ Channel 4 News report on psychologist Dr Peter Schaapveld’s findings from clinical visit to Yemen
Oct 2012 Counting Drone Strike Deaths Review of drone strike casualty estimates
Sept 2012 Living Under Drones Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan Analysis from Stamford and New York University Law Schools of the US drone campaign in Pakistan
Sep 2012 The Civilian Impact of Drone Strikes: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions A study of the impact of the US covert drone on civilians in Pakistan
Jun 2011 Drone attacks, International Law and the recording of Civilian Casualties of Armed Conflict Oxford Research Group on the recording of civilian casualties
Jun 2011 The magical realism of body counts Al-Jazeera Op-Ed on civilian casualty statistics
Jul 2011 US claims of ‘no civilian deaths’ are untrue TBIJ challenges US claims of no civilian casualties

DRONE PILOTS

Dec 2013 I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on Former US intelligence analyst Heather Linebaugh challenges ‘pro-drone’ myths
Oct 2013: A rare insight into a day at work for a pilot of a drone Former US drone pilot Lt Col Bruce Black speaks with BBC News
June 2013 Former drone operator says he’s haunted by his part in more than 1,600 deaths Interview with former USAF drone pilot Brandon Bryant
Dec 2012 Dreams in Infrared: The Woes of an American Drone Operator Der Spiegel on the impact of drone wars on the operators – includes interviews with two pilots
Jul 2012 A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away New York Times interviews US drone pilots
Sep 2012 The air force men who fly drones in Afghanistan by remote control Telegraph article on UK drone pilots
Oct 2009 The War Room: The toll on drone operators – Stars and Stripes Military newspaper examines life of drone operators

ETHICS

Feb 2014 Statement on use of drones and denial of the right to life Use of armed drones condemned by World Council of Churches
Nov 2013 The Ethics of Armed Unmanned Aircraft The ethical perspective  from the ‘pro-drone’ Royal Aeronautical Society
Nov 2013 Letter from Vatican Permanent Representative to UN Vatican raises concerns about use of drones and killer robots
May 2013 US Bishops letter on drones US Catholic Bishops letter questioning ethics of drone warfare
Jan 2013 Controversial Contrails: The Costs of Remotely Piloted Foreign Policy Serving USAF officer questions ethics of remote warfare in Joint Forces Quarterly
Aug 2012 Obama’s Drone Wars: A Case to Answer Does the use of drones fit with Just War Theory?
May 2012 Drones: Ethical Dilemmas in the Application of Military Force UK Methodist, Baptist and URC Churches report on ethical issue of using drones for targeted killing
Mar 2011 Does Unmanned Make Unacceptable? Exploring the Debate on using Drones and Robots in Warfare Pax Christi International explores ethics of drone warfare
Apr 2008 The Ethics and Legal Implications ofMilitary Unmanned Vehicles RUSI exploration of ethical and legal implications of using unmanned drones

HEALTH ISSUES

March 2013 Drone attacks ‘traumatising a generation of children’ Channel 4 News report on psychologist Dr Peter Schaapveld’s findings from clinical visit to Yemen
Oct 2012 Drones: the physical and psychological implications of a global theatre of war Medact report on the impact on health of armed drones
Sept 2012 Living Under Drones Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan Analysis from Stamford and New York University Law Schools of the US drone campaign in Pakistan
Sep 2012 The Civilian Impact of Drone Strikes: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions A study of the impact of the US covert drone on civilians in Pakistan

ISRAEL AND DRONES

Feb 2014 Sleepless in Gaza: Israeli drone war on the Gaza Strip Report on Israeli drone use by Dr. Atef Abu Saif of Al-Azhar University.
Jan 2014 Israel and the Drone Wars Briefing from Drone Wars UK on Israel and the drone wars
Dec 2013 Killer Drones: UK Complicity in Israeli’s crimes against Palestinian people War on Want report on Israeli drones
Nov 2013 Gaza: Life and death under Israel’s drones Al Jazeera report on impact of Israeli drone use in Gaza
Jul 2013 Israeli industry pursues unmanned systems network How Israel is developing multiple types of drones
June 2013 Israel leads global drone exports as demand grows Associated Press looks at Israel’s drone exports
Dec 2011 Buzz of Israel’s drones resonates throughout region Reuters article on Israeli drones
Jun 2009 Precisely Wrong: Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles Human Rights Watch Briefing

LEGAL ISSUES

Feb 2014 Report of the Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson to Human Rights Council Twenty-fifth session Final report on impact of armed drones on human rights by Ben Emmerson
Jan 2014 Jemima Stratford QC’s Advice to Chair of All Parliamentary Group on Drones Examination of legality of UK intelligence sharing with US
Sept 2013: Report of Special Rapporteur on   human rights and counter terrorism to UN General   Assembly Ben Emmerson’s interim report on impact of drones in   counter terrorism operations on civilians
Sept 2013: Report of Special Rapporteur on   extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings to UN General Assembly Christof Heyns report on international law and drones
June   2013 The   Legality of the UK’s Use of Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) Legal   opinion by Public Interest Lawyers on UK’s use of armed drones
Jun   2013: New Technologies and Warfare ICRC Journal examines impact of drones and other new   technology on warfare
May   2013 Drone   legal issues – panel of experts Podcast   of three excellent speakers talking about legal issues of drone warfare
Jun 2012 Drone   strikes threaten 50 years of international law, says UN Rapporteur – The   Guardian Christof Heyns,   UN special Rapporteur on why drones present a major challenge to the system   of international law
May   2012 Secret   ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will – New York Times Examination of US drone and special ops targeted killing based on interviews with senior administration officials
Sep   2011 The   CIA and Targeted Killings Beyond Borders Philip   Alston argues the US drone targeted tilling program cannot be compliant with   international law
Aug   2011 Seductive   Drones: Learning from a Decade of Lethal Operations Mary   Ellen O’Connell analyses ten years of drone operations from a legal   perspective
Mar   2011 Targeting   Operations with Drone Technology: Humanitarian Law Implications Excellent   briefing on drones and international law

OVERVIEW

Mar 2014 What’s wrong with drones? The concerns with the growing use of armed drones by Drone Wars UK
June 2013 War on Demand: The Global Rise of Drones by Media Benjamin Briefing by Medea Benjamin on drones
Jan 2013 Rise of the Drones Time magazine special on drones
Dec 2012 Normalising death: The business of drones Examination of the drone industry
Dec 2012 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones): an introduction UK parliament background briefing on drones
Apr 2012 The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret Good overview of US use of armed drones
Feb 2012 The Menace of Present & Future Drone Warfare Richard Falk setting the drone wars in historical and political context.
Jan 2012 License to Kill: How Drones are changing warfare Excellent summary of the issues from David Cortright of Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
Jan 2012 The Drone Wars Briefing 2012 Overview of use of drones
Aug 2011 Seductive Drones: Learning from a Decade of Lethal Operations Mary Ellen O’Connell analyses ten years of drone operations from a legal perspective
Sep 2010 Convenient Killing: Armed Drones and the‘Playstation’ Mentality Fellowship of Reconciliation briefing on the use of armed drones
Jun 2008 Air Power – UAVs: The Wider Context RAF Study into the use of UAVs

PROLIFERATION

Mar 2014 The Next Drone Wars: Preparing for Proliferation Arguing for action now to prevent the danger of drone proliferation
Feb 2014 Eurodrones Inc. The economi/ poli­tical support given to the drone industry by the EU.
Sep 2013: Remote control war: Unmanned combat air vehicles in China, India, Iran, Israel, Russia and Turkey Examination of the drone inventory six countries
June 2013 Israel leads global drone exports as demand grows Associated Press looks at Israel’s drone exports
Feb 2013 Drone manufacturers target rising Gulf Arab demand Reuters looks at how drones are being marketed to the Gulf states
Jan 2013 The Weaponisation of Future Unmanned Aerial Vehicles RUSI article looking at various weapons programme for drones
Jul 2012 Nonproliferation: improve monitoring of UAV exports US GAO analysis of growing proliferation of drones

TARGETED KILLING AND DRONES

Oct 2013 Interim Report of UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson Ben Emmerson’s interim report on impact of drones on human rights
Oct 2013 Report of UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heynes Report from UN Rapporteur Christof Heyns from perspective of Right to Life
July   2013 Drones and targeted killing:   defining a European position Anthony Dworkin argues EU should take a stronger position on US drone   strikes
July   2013 Obama’s secret kill list – the   disposition matrix Examination of how a number of  British men have been killed in US drone   strikes
May   2013 Policy   on drone strike authorization doesn’t need to change, Defense official says Washington   Post report on Pentagon offical testimony at Senate Armed Services Committee
May   2013 Deprivation   of Citizenship and the Targeted Killing of Britons Chris   Woods of TBIJ addresses APPG Meeting on how UK citizens have been stripped of   citizenship and then killed in drone strikes
April   2013 Shared   Concerns Regarding US Drone Strikes and Targeted Killing Major   US human rights group write to President Obama on drones and targeted killing
Feb   2012 How We   Made Killing Easy Excellent   analysis of leaked DoJ ‘White Paper’ by Professor David Cole in New York   Review of Books
Feb   2013 Justice   Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans Leaked   ‘White Paper’ reveals US DoJ thinking on targeted killing
Jan   2013 Reforming   U.S. Drone Strike Policies Council   on Foreign Relations briefing on US use of drones with recommendations for   reform
Sep   2012 Unnecessary   and Disproportional: The Killings of Anwar and Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki Challenging   the narrative justifying the drone assassination of the Muslim cleric Anwar   al-Awlaki and his son
Jun   2012 Drone   strikes threaten 50 years of international law, says UN Rapporteur – The   Guardian Christof   Heyns, UN special Rapporteur on why drones present a major challenge to the   system of international law
May   2012 Secret   ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will – New York Times Examination   of US drone and special ops targeted killing based on interviews with senior   administration officials
May   2012 Drones:   Ethical Dilemmas in the Application of Military Force UK   Methodist, Baptist and URC Churches report on ethical issue of using drones   for targeted killing
Sep   2011 The   CIA and Targeted Killings Beyond Borders Philip   Alston argues the US drone targeted tilling program cannot be compliant with   international law
Mar   2011 Targeting   Operations with Drone Technology: Humanitarian Law Implications Excellent   briefing on drones and international law

UK DRONE OPERATIONS

Mar 2014 Remote Control: Remotely Piloted Air Systems – current and future UK use Report from Defence Select Committee into use of UK drones
Feb 2014 RAF has fired missiles in Afghanistan using US drones, MoD reveals FOIA reveals UK use of US drones in Afghanistan
Dec 2013 Don’t call them drones: RAF launches charm offensive for ‘unmanned aircraft’   UK launches PR effort to improve perception of UK’s drone use
Nov 2013 Integrating remotely piloted air systems Overview of current and future UK drone operations from RAF’s 2013 Yearbook
Sept 2013 Remote Control:  RPAS MoD memo on UK drone   operations to UK Defence Select Committee
Sept 2013 UK drones three times more   likely than US to fire in Afghanistan Analysis of UK drone strike figures
Aug 2013 UK drone pilot witness Statement RAF Squadron Leader gives some background details of UK   drone operations
June   2013 After   five years of British drone strikes, five facts we are not allowed to know Examining   secrecy surrounding UK’s use of armed drones
May   2013 The   Rise of Britain’s drone wars GQ   Magazine examines Britain’s use of armed drones
April   2013 First   deskbound drone pilots get their RAF wings First   RAF drone specialist pilots qualify
March   2013 Drone   stats: how the UK has adjusted Reaper weapons use Statistics   of weapons launched by UK Reaper drones in Afghanistan
Dec   2012 Unmanned   Aerial Vehicles (drones): an introduction UK   parliament background briefing on drones
Dec   2012 Revealed:   US and Britain launched 1,200 drone strikes in recent wars Analysis   of US and UK drone strikes in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq
Sep   2012 The   air force men who fly drones in Afghanistan by remote control Telegraph   article on UK pilots and operations
Sept   2012 Shelling   Out: UK spending on unmanned drones An   analysis of UK spending on drones 2007-2012
Mar   2011 The   UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems – JDN 2/11 UK MoD   policy document on use of drones, including review of moral, legal and   ethical issues
Mar   2009 RAF   Bomb the Taliban from 8000 miles away – Daily Telegraph DT   reporter visits UK drones operators at their base in Nevada.
Jun   2008 Air   Power – UAVs: The Wider Context RAF   Study into the use of UAVs

US DRONE OPERATIONS

Feb 2014 The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program The Intercept reveals NSA’s role in use of metadata to target US drone strikes
Jan 2014 What really happened when a U.S. drone hit a Yemeni wedding convoy? Investigation into Dec 2013 US drone strike that killed civilians
Dec 2013 DoD Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap 2013 – 2038 Pentagon updates US military drone roadmap.
Oct 2013 Will I be next?  US Drone Strikes in   Pakistan Amnesty International report
Oct 2013 Between a drone and Al-Qaeda:   The Civilian Cost of US Targeted Killings in Yemen Human Rights Watch   report
Oct 2013 Secret memos reveal explicit   nature of U.S., Pakistan agreement on drones Excerpts of US reports to Pakistan on US drone strikes
May   2013 Policy   on drone strike authorization doesn’t need to change, Defense official says Washington   Post report on Pentagon offical testimony at Senate Armed Services Committee
May   2013 Obama’s   Speech on Drone Policy President   Obama gives major policy speech on drones and counterterrorism
March   2013 Erased   US data shows 1 in 4 missiles in Afghan airstrikes now fired by drone Analysis   by TBIJ shows that drones are firing nearly a quarter of all air-launched   missiles in Afghanistan
March   2013 Out of Sight, Out of Mind Stunning   visualization of US drone strikes in Pakistan
Jan   2013 Reforming   U.S. Drone Strike Policies Council   on Foreign Relations briefing on US use of drones with recommendations for   reform
Dec   2012 Revealed:   US and Britain launched 1,200 drone strikes in recent wars Analysis   of US and UK drone strikes in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq
Sept   2012 Living   Under Drones Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices   in Pakistan Analysis   from Stamford and New York University Law Schools of the US drone campaign in   Pakistan
Sep   2012 The   Civilian Impact of Drone Strikes: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions A   study of the impact of the US covert drone on civilians in Pakistan
Aug   2012 Hidden   History: America’s Secret Drone War in Africa Examining   US use of drones in Africa
Apr   2012 The   Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret Good   overview of US use of armed drones
Jan   2012 US Unmanned   Aerial Systems Congressional   Research Service Report looks at development and future use of drones

 

8 replies

  1. Hi,
    Please note also this article I wrote in October 2010.

    http://scrawler.co.uk/sm1/?p=354

    Best regards

    Philip

  2. Good work! I looked at your excellent website when i saw a reference to it in today’s Guardian. I noticed in your article as regards the proliferation of drones that Israel has sold drones to Canada (and 12 other countries). Do you have any more information as regards the Canadian drones please?

  3. Im not sure I understand whats bad about drones, war is war !
    I would rather a drone with no humans on board than one with?

  4. I am working on a project involving Japan’s view on drones and I was curious if you have any information on Japan’s involvement with drones?

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