Anyone who has conducted interviews with around 60 Reaper drone crew members and given evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones will have learned a thing or two about the Royal Air Force’s armed drone programme. Step forward Dr Peter Lee, a former Air Force chaplain now Director of Security and Risk Research at Portsmouth University, who over the past few years has been undertaking a detailed study into the human dimension of RAF Reaper drone operations. Dr Lee recently lectured at the Royal Aeronautical Society about his research and his forthcoming book on the RAF’s drone community. Read more
Drone Wars UK is publishing an exclusive interview with former British Reaper drone pilot Justin Thompson (a pseudonym), who for three years flew RAF Reapers over Afghanistan while based at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.
When we met earlier this year, Justin confided that he was a reader of the Drone Wars blog and so I asked if he would be willing to be interviewed. After thinking about it for a few weeks he agreed on two conditions. Read more
READING WEEK: The final post in our short series of book reviews related to the use of armed drones.
The number of books about the use of armed drones has mushroomed over the past two or three years but investigative journalist Chris Woods’ just published ‘Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars’ sets a real benchmark for the genre and is likely to be a standard text for some time to come.
Over 300 tightly-written pages, the book traces the growing use of armed drones from the almost ad hoc missions in the aftermath of 9/11, to their gradual acceptance in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan before spreading ‘beyond the conventional battlefield’ into Yemen, Somali and most controversially Pakistan. Weaved into this chronological story, Woods examines the multiple legal and ethical issues that surround the drone wars including the questions of targeted killing, asymmetric warfare and the civilian casualties. Read more