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Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control Paperback – May 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: OR Books; First Printing edition (May 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1935928813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935928812
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,046,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


''In this remarkably cogent and carefully researched book, Medea Benjamin makes it clear that drones are not just another high-tech military trinket. Drone Warfare sketches out the nightmare possibilities posed by this insane proliferation.'' --Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times bestselling author

''Activist extraordinaire Medea Benjamin has documented how the US government's use of drones to murder hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen has increased the danger to our national security. Benjamin's Drone Warfare is the first book that reveals the vocal international citizen opposition that challenges the legality and morality of America's extrajudicial execution drones before they kill here at home.'' --Ann Wright, US Army colonel (Ret.) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

MEDEA BENJAMIN is a cofounder of the peace group CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than thirty years. Described as ''one of America's most committed and most effective-fighters for human rights'' by Newsday and called ''one of the high-profile leaders of the peace movement'' by the Los Angeles Times, Benjamin has distinguished herself as an eloquent and energetic figure in the progressive movement. A former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and World Health Organization, she is the author-editor of eight books. Her articles appear regularly in such publications as the Huffington Post,CommonDreams, Alternet, and OpEd News. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 54 people found the following review helpful By John S. Uebersax on May 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This new book by leading American anti-drone activist and CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin is a must-read for anyone interested in the bitter reality of the ongoing US drone wars. It will be of interest to researchers, journalists, activists, ethicists, legal analysts, and the general public.

Any initial fears that this is merely a sensationalistic, superficial analysis of the problems of drone warfare quickly vanish as one begins reading. With over 300 notes and citations, the book supplies an unparalleled, sweeping perspective on the entire problem, alluding, in one way or another, to all the main issues. It contains a lot of details about drones that probably hadn't occurred to you before. (For example, did you know that drone-launched Hellfire missiles travel faster than the speed of sound? A strike victim doesn't even hear them coming.)

Overall it's an excellent, and perhaps essential starting point for research on US drone warfare.

The style is extremely readable, without loss of depth or impact. Medea Benjamin has an amazing command of the facts, a consequence of her sheer passion and commitment to the topic. There is no political agenda here -- it is not marred by 'leftist' or 'rightist' prejudice. Rather, what comes across is an intense humanitarian motivation. She is writing from the heart, with pure and trustworthy instincts, accompanied by a high degree of intellectual and journalistic skill.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By AmazonCustomer on April 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a workman-like presentation of the genesis of drones, who manufactures them, and an exposition of the various issues associated with the current state of the art of drone warfare. It is written from a liberal point of view and, in general, is in opposition to the usage of drones to kill people. The effects of drone warfare, if it can be called that, as distinct from murder one, are well described. I recommend it highly as an introduction to a fast-moving, faster-developing change in the way we make other people feel our power.
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30 of 43 people found the following review helpful By cvairag VINE VOICE on April 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Of the many horrors unleashed under the rubric of national security, perhaps none is as immediately and intimately threatening, or as revealing of the mindset of the 1% and their politically sympathetic camp-followers,as the radical expansion of drone warfare over the past decade, especially by the Obama administration. At least hundreds of innocent civilian lives have been lost, mutilated, or destroyed in military operations where bombs are dropped by robotically-manned aircraft, launched and directed to remote targets, by play-stations operated by U.S. military personnel, often former computer "gamers" from U.S. air bases situated halfway around the world from their victims.
In this immaculately documented study, an inimitable, true heavyweight, long-term critic of U.S. social policies (I hesitate to use the word "foreign" here), details the dreadful history of what is now the norm, the cutting-edge, if you'll have it, of U.S. military strategy and speculates on its future.
This last part ought to be of particular interest to the general reader: how drones are currently either in use or planned imminently to be in use by domestic security operatives and local law enforcement agencies for domestic survellience on - well - you've got it - the old enemy - the enemy within - the ones who are mentioned in the opening lines of the Constitution! And plans are in the works for not only survellience...
Our eyes our opened to the danger of drone proliferation: there are currently over 400 outstanding orders to be filled, and not only from U.S. military clients!
Not only is the extent of drone damage documented here - but the criminal insensitivity of such killings - where often the identity targets, and the actual degree of the victims' culpability remains unknown. This concept has been expanded by the Signature Kill type operations discussed in a book that is incumbent upon every American concerned about personal survival to actually take time out to read.
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jane Deere on August 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
WOW - This is not the type of book I would normally read. A friend actually (all but) forced me to read it. And all I can say is, no matter if you are "right" or "left", or have no interest in politics and warfare at all, this is an absolute must-read book.
Shocking and informative - a real eye opener. Buy it here, borrow it from a friend, or check it out at from the library. Truely, one of the most important books I have ever read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brett A. MccUlly on June 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Medea Benjamin is a well-known activist. She founded the activist organization CODEPINK and has disrupted the speeches of NRA head Wayne LaPierre, as well as speeches on drones and counterterrorism policy by then-Homeland Security Adivisor John Brennan and the President himself. Hence the positions she takes in the book are of no surprise.

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, while given to some occasional constructive uses, are bad for the US, for their victims, and for war more generally. Benjamin overturns some widely held assumptions on drones. First that they are cheap: often, they are prone to large cost overruns, as was the case with Northrup Grumman's Global Hawk. In addition, they crash often, necessitating larger quantity purchases by the military.

More importantly, however, targeted assassinations via drones are immoral and illegal. The Obama administration has vastly expanded their use, including against US citizens. Benjamin addresses a key criticism of leftist agitation against drones: that they are merely a means to kill, no different than cruise missiles or jet fighters. She argues that they are indeed distinct from other weapons: they make war easy, by avoiding US casualties; they "emasculate" the enemy, which is of great importance in honor-bound cultures such as the Federally Administered Tribal Region of Pakistan.

The summary given in Drone Warfare of the targeted killing program's illegality is good though not as exhaustive as, say, Zeke Johnson's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee (April 16, 2013). In addition, she does not go into very much detail on specific drone bombings targeting schools, funerals, and first-responders.
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