Saturday, February 27, 2016

Drones for Warfare Now Cheaper and Easier to Get

China is supplying less costly "armed drones for targeted killing by remote control" to most any nation interested in the technology ("A Fast Growing Club: Countries That Use Drones for Killing by Remote Control," Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2016). Meanwhile, the United States requires an okay by Congress for drone sales. Reportedly, six countries have the capacity for drone warfare, including Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq, Great Britain, Israel, and the United States, although seventy-eight nations use the unmanned aerial vehicles (AKA drones) for reconnaissance.

Review selected hard copy/online library books related to drones at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a listed item, select the "Place Hold" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to request for pick up at the library.

Use these subject words and phrases to find more information in the library catalog:
  • drone aircraft
  • drones
  • military robots

The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones: Confronting a New Age of Threat by Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum Basic, 2015
call number: 303.601 Wit

"Wittes (senior fellow, governance studies, Brookings Institution; Campaign 2012) and Blum (Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Harvard Law Sch.; Islands of Agreement), who co-direct the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security, introduce readers to the new and upcoming threats to security, privacy, and health in the 21st century, which are often enabled by low-cost, advanced technology. With ready access to drone technology, nano-tech, and biological tools and information, these threats are situated in a political economy of the role of the state, private citizens, and non-state actors. What Wittes and Blum set out to do is provide instructive possible actions that government may be poised to take, and others in which government players may not yet have ample guidelines to address." - Library Journal review excerpt

Opposing Perspectives on the Drone Debate by Bradley Jay Strawser with Lisa Hajjar, Steven Levine, Feisal H. Naqvi, John Fabian Witt
Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
call number: 358.414 Str

"Five scholars square off in a lively debate over the ethics of drones and their contentious use" - publisher summary

Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution by Richard Whittle
Holt, 2014
call number: 623.746 Whi

"Increasingly prominent in recent headlines, unmanned drones have a long history, as veteran military journalist Whittle (The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey) relates in this engrossing book. Thousands of drones were flown during WWII as targets for training antiaircraft gunners, and they played a modest reconnaissance role in Vietnam. But as Whittle shows, today's long-endurance, missile-firing drones are spinoffs of models developed by entrepreneurial startups during the 1980s. Largely commanded by former fighter pilots, the Air Force was hostile to unmanned planes until the 1990s wars in the Balkans. Peacekeeping forces could not track the marauding Serbian army, which shot down several manned reconnaissance aircraft, but an experimental drone, named the Predator, solved the problem. It was unarmed, but an updated version successfully launched a Hellfire missile in 2001 at Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base test range. After 9/11, remotely controlled drones began raining destruction on targets identified, sometimes correctly, as enemies of the U.S. By 2010 the U.S. military possessed 8,000 and the number continues to grow. Whittle concludes this impressively researched, thought-provoking history by pointing out that drones have revolutionized warfare, but like previous revolutions (the machine gun, aircraft, nuclear weapons) they did not make the world a safer place and created as many problems as they solved." - Library Journal review excerpt

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