Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues

Edited by Marjorie Cohn. Interlink/Olive Branch, $25 trade paper (294p) ISBN 978-1-56656-989-7
The 13 essays in this anthology are a mixed bag and do not live up to the impassioned foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who decries the Obama administration’s use of drones to kill “thousands of people with no due process at all.” Unless the volume is intended to preach to the choir, it undermines its efforts with hyperbole. For example, Richard Falk titled his chapter the provocative “Why Drones Are More Dangerous than Nuclear Weapons,” arguing that a system of international agreements has made nuclear weapons a purely theoretical threat since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while drones are used freely by the U.S. without any constraints. Readers not already open to descriptions of American wrongdoing during the Vietnam War—including the creation of concentration camps—are also likely to tune out the very real concerns articulated here: innocent civilians killed in drone strikes, the expansion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prospect that technological advances will only increase the use of drones. Though this work is well-intentioned, Lloyd Gardner’s Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare is a better introduction to the subject. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-56656-911-8
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