One Nation Under Drones

Legality, Morality, and Utility of Unmanned Combat Systems
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Published:December 15, 2018
By John E. Jackson (Author)

One Nation Under Drones is an interesting and informative review of how robotic and unmanned systems are impacting every aspect of American life, from how we fight our wars to how we play to how we grow our food. Edited by John Jackson, this highly readable book features chapters from a dozen experts, researchers, and operators of the sophisticated systems that have become ubiquitous across the nation and around the world. Press reports have focused primarily on unmanned aerial vehicles, officially designated as UAVs, but more often referred to as “drones.”

This work takes you behind the scenes and describes how Predators, Reapers, Scan Eagles, and dozens of other pilotless aircraft have been used to fight the Global War on Terrorism. Although these systems seemed to emerge fully-developed into the skies above America’s distant battlefields following the attacks of September 11, 2001, readers will discover that they actually trace their lineage to World War I, when the “automatic airplane/aerial torpedo,” designed and built by the Sperry Gyroscope Company, made its first flight just over a century ago. Unmanned aircraft were used by various combatants in World War II and took many forms: from converted manned bombers to intercontinental attacks on the American homeland by rice-paper balloons. Technology developed in the latter decades of the 20th century enabled crews stationed thousands of miles away to attack targets on remote battlefields. Such long-range and remote-controlled weapons have been extensively used but are controversial from both legal and ethical standpoints.

Chapters written by international law specialists and drone pilots with advanced education in ethics address these issues from both sides of the argument. The book also details how robotic systems are being used on land, in and below the seas, and in civilian applications such as driverless cars. Three dozen photographs display drones as small as an insect up to those as large as a 737 airliner. One Nation Under Drones covers such a wide array of topics that it will be of interest to everyone from the casual reader seeking to know more about these systems to national security professionals, both in and out of uniform, who will be making decisions about their procurement and use in decades to come. 




List Price: $29.95
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Product Details
  • Subject: Current Affairs
  • Hardcover : 256 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (December 15, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1682472388
  • ISBN-13: 9781682472385
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 19.36 oz
  • The Verge Interview: A retired Navy captain explains how drones will shape the future of war
  • “A groundbreaking and deftly organized historical examination of a technology that has become ubiquitous with respect to military engagements, security surveillance, corporate business experimentation, and domestic recreation, One Nation Under Drones is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, government policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.” —Midwest Book Review
  • “This fascinating book does a superb job of outlining the history, current uses, and potential applications for unmanned and robotic systems. The breadth of experience of the editor and chapter authors makes this book indispensable for anyone who yearns to know what living in the drone age will mean for all of us.” — ADM. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • “The author has provided a fascinating view of the history and development of the UAV and looked at the many issues surrounding these vehicles. This is a book that should be read because it deals with matters that have not received the exposure and debate they merit.” —FIRE Reviews
  • “This book is a must read for anyone trying to understand the challenges of a new and challenging strategic environment that includes myriad unmanned systems. A brilliant look at the past, present, and future of these emerging and soon to be ubiquitous technologies.” —Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harley, President, U.S. Naval War College
  • "John Jackson's critical perspectives and expansive observations by these experts combine to ensure the value of One Nation Under Drones ... for readers - both ardent believers and skeptics - across the military and private sectors. It opens one's mind to think creatively in a battlefield enabled by thousands of Unmanned Systems - operating across the Space, Air, Surface and Undersea Domains - that complement manned systems to extend the Fleet's depths of awareness and fire power... One Nation Under Drones..." prepares the reader to move - technically, culturally and emotionally - to the future. An essential move, totally dependent upon their alignment! Brilliant!" —Admiral Jim Hogg, U.S. Navy (Ret.); former Commander SEVENTH Fleet, Director Naval Warfare and, as a follow-on career, 18 years as Director of the CNO's Strategic Studies Group
  • “Drones are everywhere we want to be – and many places we don’t. And everyone has them; so, defending against them matters. In this feast of thought, authors address ranging from what they are and how they are used – to the morality and legality of their employment. Much to ponder.” —Martin Libicki, author of Cyberspace in Peace and War, DVP US Naval Academy
  • "As drones permeate land, sea, and air they provoke a re-imagination of our relationship to machines. In this superb volume operators, ethicists, futurists, and philosophers grapple with these modern engines of controversy and opportunity. This book thus provides vital insights in the raging contest between machine autonomy and human agency." —Timothy Schultz, author of The Problem with Pilots, and former Dean of the USAF's School of Advanced Air and Space Studies
  • “Professor Jackson has assembled an unparalleled group of experts to explore what has become an increasingly complex ecosystem of drone applications, debates, and technologies. From unmanned underwater vehicles to autonomous weapons, this book addresses drones in their totality. It is an essential companion for navigating our drone-filled world.” —Dan Gettinger, founder and co-director, Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College

Following a 27-year career as a Navy logistics officer, CAPT. JOHN E. JACKSON, USN (RET.) has spent more than three decades as an educator, author, and researcher in the field of technology and military operations. As a senior course moderator at the U.S. Naval War College he designed and regularly teaches a highly regarded course entitled “Unmanned Systems and Conflict in the 21st Century.” He is a frequent lecturer on this subject and testified before the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in 2010. He lives in Middletown, Rhode Island.

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