The 2012 Drone Wars Briefing

Click image to download PDF

Today we are publishing the first, of what we hope will be an annual briefing.

The Drone Wars Briefing explores some of the key issues arising from the growing use of armed unmanned drones in a detailed, yet, accessible way.  Examining current UK and US military drone operations, as well as looking at future developments and legal issues, the fully-referenced briefing will be of use to both those new to the issue as well as those with a long-term interest.

Each of the briefings five key sections starts with a short background summary before reviewing what has happened over the past year.  In addition, the 36-page document looks at the growing autonomy of drones; Israel and drones and the push towards allowing drones to fly within UK civil airspace.  The briefing concludes with a short essay arguing that at the very least there must be proper public accountability for the use of armed drones and an informed public debate on their future development and use.

As the introduction to the briefing notes, 2012 will be a significant year for the development of drones in the UK. A go-ahead for the new UK-French drone is expected early in the New Year, the British Watchkeeper drone will finally be deployed sometime in the Spring, RAF pilots will begin piloting armed Reaper drones over Afghanistan from the UK for the first time during the summer, and it is likely that drones will fly over London during the Olympics. For all these reasons and more, we believe the Drone Wars Briefing is a timely and vital publication.

  • We are making the Briefing available free of charge to download (simply click image) but would very much appreciate a donation towards our work.
  • To order up to 5 copies through the post (sorry, UK only) please send a cheque (payable to ‘Drone Wars UK’) for £3.00 per copy plus £1.00 postage and packing per copy to:  Drone Wars UK, 20 Wilkins Road, Oxford, OX4 2HX
  • To order more than 5 copies please email us.

Categories: Archive

5 replies

  1. I am not sure if I am enthusiastic about an annual review as I would hope that by next year these bothersome things would be banned under international law.
    Congratulations on having produced this edition. I really value the information you provide. Vital work.

  2. Page 13 states – “What is extremely worrying is that a whole new type of weapons system, which
    has the potential to change the way in which armed conflicts are fought, is being developed behind the scene with almost no public discussion or oversight”…

    When has there ever been public discussion about the development of a weapon system? The long bow, the aircraft, the tank, the bouncing bomb…. should these have been discussed in public? does the public have enough understanding of the nature of warfare to be able to debate these subjects constructively?


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