The Drone War

Tracking the Shadowy World of Drone Warfare

American foreign policy may look like it's in shambles sometimes, but the world doesn't seem to think so. According to Gallup's US Global Leadership Project, a gigantic survey of o...(full article)

The military has tentatively concluded that two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) recently found near the border with North Korea came from the impoverished state. The conclusion rai...(full article)

What the first thing you think of when you hear the word "drone?" It might be killing machines. Or reconnaissance quadcopters. Or maybe a honey bee. But for a countless number of p...(full article)

The new term being used: "elongated imminence," which means that a president doesn't have to deem the country under immediate threat of attack before acting on his or her own....(full article)

The White House is supposed to be handing the program over to the Pentagon. Here's why they're dragging their feet....(full article)

Most Recent Articles

America's Drone Program Needs to Keep Flying - Chicago Tribune

There is much we don't know about the American citizen who is the target of a potential U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. He is believed to be associated with al-Qaida. He reportedly ...

America's Bloody Messes in Yemen - Hooria Mashhour, Washington Post

December 12 was supposed to be a day of celebration for the al-Ameri family. A young bride traveled to her wedding with her relatives in Bayda province, Yemen. But in a few dark se...

Drones Could Decide Battle of Fallujah - David Francis, The Fiscal Times

The Iraqi Army is currently trying to wrest control of Fallujah from al-Qaeda-linked militants, and Secretary of State John Kerry has said that American forces would not get involv...

Here Come China's Drones - Trefor Moss, The Diplomat

China is developing its own drone technology — for its own military and for sale around the world....

U.S. Drones Doing More Harm than Good - The National

Over the course of the war in Afghanistan, several US airstrikes went awry, targeting Afghan wedding parties and killing civilians. Such attacks increased anger in the country agai...

Britain Up to Its Neck in U.S.'s Dirty Wars - Seumas Milne, The Guardian

The war on terror is now an endless campaign of drone and undercover killings that threatens a more dangerous world....

Drones Have Flown the Military Coop - Mary Cummings, Globe and Mail

In just the past two years, it seems as if drones have suddenly popped up everywhere in the news. This technology has been around for more than 60 years, but has only recently capt...

The Taliban's Hydras - Bill Roggio, The Daily Beast

Yesterday's drone strike in Pakistan's northwestern district of Hangu that killed a top Haqqani Network leader is a major tactical win for the U.S., but in the absence of a compr...

The New War on al-Qaeda - Bloomberg

Six months ago, President Barack Obama told the American people that the end of the U.S. war against al-Qaeda was approaching. Three months later, a threat from al-Qaeda’s Yemen ...

Obama May Be Guilty of War Crimes - Jeffrey Bachman, The Guardian

Is President Obama a suspected war criminal? If you have read the recent reports on drone strikes by Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human ri...

U.S. Drone Didn't Kill a Taliban Peacemaker - Damien McElroy, Telegraph

The American drone strike that killed the Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud last week has apparently caused outrage in Islamabad and threatens a breach in relations between...

U.S. Enters Pakistani Politics via Drone - Dawn

His death may have been brutal and swift, but his reign of brutality was long — and will surely be enduring in some form after his death. When a Pakistani militant supremo is kil...

The Campaign to Kill Killer Robots - Noah Rayman, Time

A slew of reports over the last two weeks detailing cases of U.S. armed drones killing civilians signaled a new wave of outrage over the unregulated use of drones by the U.S. There...

Drones Will Be Turned Against America - Allan Massie, The Scotsman

SOMEWHERE in the United States, perhaps Arizona or New Mexico, a member of the armed forces is closing down his computer. He has completed a good day’s work, during which he ...

Time to Take a Hard Look at Drone Strikes - Christian Science Monitor

Perhaps the most difficult question is this: As drone technology advances, is the US turning more of the decisionmaking in a strike over to the so-called intelligence of a semi-aut...

Coming Era of Tiny Wars & Micro-Conflicts - Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

No other nation's military comes within a country mile of it. None has more than a handful of foreign bases. None has more than two aircraft carrier battle groups. No potential ene...

The Drone War Comes to Asia - Brimley, FitzGerald & Ratner, Foreign Policy

The introduction of indigenous drones into Asia's strategic environment -- now made official by China's maiden unmanned provocation -- will bring with it additional sources of inst...

Are Drones the Answer in Syria? - Audrey Kurth Cronin, Foreign Affairs

Armed drones have serious limitations, and the situation in Syria lays them bare. They are only useful where the United States has unfettered access to airspace, a well-defined tar...

The Killing Machines - Mark Bowden, The Atlantic

A deep look at America's drone wars....

Al-Qaeda's Strongest Weapon in Yemen: Drones - Joseph Cox, Vice

The U.S. is helping al-Qaeda in Yemen, it just doesn't know it....

Bargaining with Drone-Skeptical Pakistan - Daniel Markey, Foreign Affairs

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's new prime minister, has already made clear that, unlike his predecessors, he won't tacitly endorse the United States' current counterterrorism operations. ...

China's Drones Challenge Western Dominance - Wendell Minnick, DN

Folks wandering past the model of the Pterodactyl UAV at the Paris Air Show last week were probably unaware that this was China’s first unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) on d...

U.S. Did Pakistan a Favor By Whacking Taliban Leader - Daily Times

The fallout of the drone attack that killed the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP’s) second-in-command Waliur Rehman has followed the expected trajectory. There are condemnatio...

The Drone War Is Far from Over - Akbar Ahmed, New York Times

Drone strikes like Wednesday's, in Waziristan, are destroying already weak tribal structures and throwing communities into disarray throughout Pakistan's tribal belt along the bord...

Obama's Moral Anguish Act - Ross Douthat, New York Times

The president’s rhetoric last week was calculated to reassure and soothe. The promises he made in 2008, when he campaigned as a critic of wartime overreach, were revived, reass...

Obama Bows to the Islamic Street - James Traub, Foreign Policy

Obama can't live without drones, Pakistan can't live with 'em. So the president bowed to the Islamic street....

Back from Perpetual War - Irish Times

Obama's pledge on the war on terrorism exemplifies the gap between his aspirations and delivery....

Obama Speech Nails It on Drone Strikes - Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings Inst.

President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism speech Thursday did not deliver any radical policy changes or huge revelations, but it was well done nonetheless. It explained his r...

U.S. Shift Poses Risk to Pakistan - Declan Walsh, New York Times

Pakistani leaders who have long demanded an American exit from their region may get their wish, but a broader disengagement is also likely to diminish the financing, prestige and p...

Obama's Cynical War Speech - Andrew McCarthy, National Review

Why this speech at this time? Because the president is embroiled in not one but three scandals (and counting), involving his derelictions of duty in connection with the Benghazi ma...

Bush's War on Terror Is Over - Peter Bergen, CNN

For the first time on Thursday, President Obama laid out the full scope of his proposed counterterrorism strategy, and it boiled down to this: George W. Bush's endless war on terro...

Obama Drone Policy Strikes Balance - USA Today

For all the success and domestic popularity of America's drone warfare against terrorists abroad, the program carries some major downsides: It kills innocent civilians. It radicali...

China Has Drones. Now What? - Erickson & Strange, Foreign Affairs

Drones, able to dispatch death remotely, without human eyes on their targets or a pilot’s life at stake, make people uncomfortable -- even when they belong to democratic governme...

Obama's Speech: No More Drone Strikes? - John Yoo, National Review

The president risks rendering impossible the only element of his counterterrorism strategy that has bred success....

Ending the Endless War on Terrorism - Andrew Sullivan, The Dish

We can envisage a world in which this war is over, and yet our counter-terrorism continues 'smartly and proportionally.' It is a tough and usually lonely task to make these calls. ...

Obama's Drone Changes Change Very Little - Bloomberg

President Barack Obama made a number of smart changes to the U.S. drone war and detention policies today, and they should leave all Americans deeply unsatisfied. Why? Because refin...

The End of the Perpetual War - New York Times

President Obama's speech on Thursday was the most important statement on counterterrorism policy since the 2001 attacks, a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America. For the fir...

Can Obama Make the Legal Case for the War on Terror? - Rosa Brooks, FP

Normally, law professors thrive on confusion: We foment it in the classroom whenever possible. But while confusion is good for the law student soul, it's not so good for the execut...

Woolwich Is Blowback for Western Terror - Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

The US, the UK and its allies have repeatedly killed Muslim civilians over the past decade (and before that), but defenders of those governments insist that this cannot be "terro...

Finally, Obama Breaks Silence on Drones - Peter Singer, LA Times

Over the last four years, there has been a strange irony. One of the greatest speakers of our era has largely kept silent about one of the signature aspects of his presidency....

Navy's New Drones Designed to Fight China? - David Axe, Danger Room

There’s more at stake than just money. Jet-propelled killer drones are best suited for quick, hard-hitting bombing runs against heavily-defended military targets such as missile ...

How to End the Forever War - Harold Hongju Koh, Yale Global

From both the left and the right, three common misperceptions have emerged about US foreign policy: First, that the Global War on Terror has become a perpetual state of affairs; se...

U.S. Congress Should Clarify Authorization for War - Washington Post

The Obama administration's political and legal authority to wage war against al-Qaeda has steadily eroded. Both liberal and conservative members of Congress have challenged the adm...

What Marine Biologists Can Teach Us About Terror - Alex Berezow, RCW

A bisected starfish isn't a dead starfish: It's now two starfish. (And a starfish cut into five pieces turns into five starfish!) In the world today, civilized societies are the f...

The Isolationists Are Coming! - Matthew Duss, The American Prospect

Ask yourself: Do you oppose putting U.S. troops everywhere, all the time? If you answered yes, you might be an isolationist, according to the word’s new definition....