Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone Wars (Terrorism and Global Justice)

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9780190202590: Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone Wars (Terrorism and Global Justice)

Less than a month after the September 11th attacks, a tiny, CIA-controlled Predator drone flew over Kandahar, searching out the home of the Taliban supreme commander Mullah Mohammed Omar. A lack of understanding of the drone's capabilities combined with a messy chain of command allowed Omar to escape, but the strike on a nearby convoy vehicle became the Predator's first lethal action. Since then, the use of armed drones has become the dominant American way of war.

In Sudden Justice, award-winning investigative journalist Chris Woods explores the secretive history of the United States' use of armed drones and their key role not only on today's battlefields, but also in a covert targeted killing project that has led to the deaths of thousands. The CIA nurtured and developed drones before the War on Terror ever began, seeking a platform from which it could monitor its targets and act lethally and instantly on the intelligence it gathered. Since then, remotely piloted aircraft have played a critical role in America's global counter-terrorism operations and have been deployed to devastating effect in conventional wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Drone crews, analysts, intelligence officials and military commanders all speak frankly to the author about how armed drones revolutionized warfare--and the unexpected costs to some of those involved.

But there is another, secret war--one in which drones scour the skies of Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia in search of militant and terrorist targets. The American government insists that this hidden war is legal. The CIA even claims that its armed drones are "the most precise weapon ever invented," so perfect that civilians are no longer killed. Sudden Justice describes the reality of this secret drone war, one in which hundreds of civilians have died, and the wider strategic interests of the United States may have been jeopardized.

The ability to target its enemies from the safety of headquarters thousands of miles from the battlefield has profound implications for how America conducts its foreign policy, and for how it is seen in the world. As the first book to comprehensively assemble and analyze the facts about the U.S. drone program, Sudden Justice is the essential guide for understanding its implications.

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About the Author:


Chris Woods is an investigative journalist who specializes in conflict and national security issues. A former senior BBC Panorama producer, he has authored several investigations into covert U.S. drone strikes and their true effects. He was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize for his work, and lives in London.

Review:


"Drones for intelligence gathering and precision attack will feature in every future conflict. Chris Woods has uncovered the extraordinary story of the drone and its controversial use by the US, both on the regular battlefield and in its covert war against terrorism. Essential reading for those who want to see the benefits of this technology realised within international law." --Professor Sir David Omand, King's College London, Chair of the Birmingham Policy Commission on the Security Impact of Drones


"Chris Woods has written a brilliant - indeed, a definitive - study of the evolution of weaponised drone warfare. Woods offers detail never previously released, from insiders in the drone program and in the intelligence community. Most importantly, he examines how the drones' targets - guerrillas, terrorists, and rogue states - have adapted, developed countermeasures, and (in some cases) begun to field their own competing drone programs. Anyone interested in the future of warfare needs to read this book - we have certainly not seen the last of this form of conflict." --David Kilcullen, author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One and Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla


"War is, and remains a terrible thing. Sudden Justice affords the reader an informed insight to the world of the UAV and allows them to make a fair judgment, as Hugo Grotius asked of us, on its "moral certainty". What is clear is that this technology is not going away." --Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb KBE, CMG, DSO, former Commander, British Field Army


"[Woods] brings a cool, informed perspective to this ominous topic, confidently examining the Pandora's box of legal, human rights, and governance issues raised by this deceptively simple weapon . . . A clear-eyed and chilling account of warfare's present and future."
--Kirkus Reviews


"The use of armed drones in counter-insurgency operations has divided opinion in the international community and posed significant challenges to established norms of international law. This important book makes a major contribution to that ongoing international debate. Chris Woods has produced the first accessible, balanced and comprehensive analysis of this technological revolution in modern asymmetrical warfare. Through painstakingly detailed research conducted over a number of years, and unprecedented access to many of the key players, he has pieced together an unassailable account which both exposes and explains the haphazard way in which this new weapons platform has changed the nature of armed conflict and expanded the boundaries of the battlefield. The result is a thoughtful and critical narrative which explodes a number of the myths surrounding the use of armed drones." --Ben Emmerson, QC, UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights


"Sudden Justice is a must-read. Chris Woods explains with authority and mesmerising detail how the armed drone has emerged to transform modern warfare. The product of three years investigative journalism, Sudden Justice covers the haphazard origins of drone warfare, revolutionary developments in technology and use, and the story of those caught up in the "decision matrix". The book will add significantly to understanding of this hot topic." --Tom Watson MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones


"There are plenty of books about drone warfare and drone counterterrorism, but none as interesting and comprehensive as Sudden Justice. Chris Woods describes the drone strike program in both the major war zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria and in the places, like Yemen and Somalia, where the US has conducted a semi-secret program of more than 500 drone strikes. He also discusses the British and Israeli drone strike programs. Sudden Justice provides interesting new material based on Woods' interviews with officials, former drone pilots and operators. Woods gives us the view from 18,000 feet and on the ground as only a good journalist can - with vivid writing, an eye for important details, and thankfully, an ability to identify the big picture questions." --Neta Crawford, Professor of Political Science, Boston University, and author of Accountability for Killing: Moral Responsibility for Collateral Damage in America's Post-9/11 Wars


"Woods does a devastatingly effective job of illuminating the toll and potential legacy of U.S. use of drones to carry out targeted assassinations. Even readers who keep up with current events are likely to find some eye-openers here." --Publishers Weekly


"[A]s a chronicle of the first drone war, it is more comprehensive than anything else published to date . . . Sudden Justice works best as the harrowing history of a nasty, vindictive conflict between a sophisticated military and intelligence apparatus with unlimited resources and a tenacious enemy with no state and no uniforms." --Bookforum


"[Woods has] made important contributions to a subject that is otherwise mired in secrecy, disinformation and polemical excess . . . His book is perhaps the most comprehensive and scrupulous treatment of the subject . . . for citizens concerned with the political and humanitarian consequences of the drone war, Woods, with his systematic approach, will prove more useful." --In These Times


"Through research and frank interviews with drone pilots and other members of the defense and intelligence communities, Woods offers an exhaustive account of how drones have been used since then, creating a map of this shadowy world . . . for those seeking a holistic look at the strategic, operational, and moral implications of drones, his book hits the target." --National Journal


"To appreciate the immediate history of the drone wars, especially the one in Pakistan, Chris Woods' book Sudden Justice is essential. Woods' massively detailed and well-researched book focuses mainly on the modern history of drones, starting with the development of the Predator drone, the beginnings of the targeted killing program in Yemen and Pakistan, and how former U.S. President George W. Bush used drones in Pakistan."
--Foreign Policy


"[An] informative book based upon much valuable research." --America Magazine


"[Sudden Justice] . . . breaks new ground by focusing on the complex interactions between machines and humans, including operatives, targets and other victims, as well as political defenders and opponents of this burgeoning weapons program."
--Michigan War Studies Review


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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Less than a month after the September 11th attacks, a tiny, CIA- controlled Predator drone flew over Kandahar, searching out the home of the Taliban supreme commander Mullah Mohammed Omar. A lack of understanding of the drone s capabilities combined with a messy chain of command allowed Omar to escape, but the strike on a nearby convoy vehicle became the Predator s first lethal action. Since then, the use of armed drones has become the dominant American way of war. In Sudden Justice, award-winning investigative journalist Chris Woods explores the secretive history of the United States use of armed drones and their key role not only on today s battlefields, but also in a covert targeted killing project that has led to the deaths of thousands. The CIA nurtured and developed drones before the War on Terror ever began, seeking a platform from which it could monitor its targets and act lethally and instantly on the intelligence it gathered. Since then, remotely piloted aircraft have played a critical role in America s global counter-terrorism operations and have been deployed to devastating effect in conventional wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Drone crews, analysts, intelligence officials and military commanders all speak frankly to the author about how armed drones revolutionized warfare--and the unexpected costs to some of those involved. But there is another, secret war--one in which drones scour the skies of Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia in search of militant and terrorist targets. The American government insists that this hidden war is legal. The CIA even claims that its armed drones are the most precise weapon ever invented, so perfect that civilians are no longer killed. Sudden Justice describes the reality of this secret drone war, one in which hundreds of civilians have died, and the wider strategic interests of the United States may have been jeopardized. The ability to target its enemies from the safety of headquarters. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780190202590

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Less than a month after the September 11th attacks, a tiny, CIA- controlled Predator drone flew over Kandahar, searching out the home of the Taliban supreme commander Mullah Mohammed Omar. A lack of understanding of the drone s capabilities combined with a messy chain of command allowed Omar to escape, but the strike on a nearby convoy vehicle became the Predator s first lethal action. Since then, the use of armed drones has become the dominant American way of war. In Sudden Justice, award-winning investigative journalist Chris Woods explores the secretive history of the United States use of armed drones and their key role not only on today s battlefields, but also in a covert targeted killing project that has led to the deaths of thousands. The CIA nurtured and developed drones before the War on Terror ever began, seeking a platform from which it could monitor its targets and act lethally and instantly on the intelligence it gathered. Since then, remotely piloted aircraft have played a critical role in America s global counter-terrorism operations and have been deployed to devastating effect in conventional wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Drone crews, analysts, intelligence officials and military commanders all speak frankly to the author about how armed drones revolutionized warfare--and the unexpected costs to some of those involved. But there is another, secret war--one in which drones scour the skies of Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia in search of militant and terrorist targets. The American government insists that this hidden war is legal. The CIA even claims that its armed drones are the most precise weapon ever invented, so perfect that civilians are no longer killed. Sudden Justice describes the reality of this secret drone war, one in which hundreds of civilians have died, and the wider strategic interests of the United States may have been jeopardized. The ability to target its enemies from the safety of headquarters. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780190202590

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