Dr Peter Lee of Portsmouth Business School at the RAF College Cranwell will discuss ‘Drone Wars – The Politics and Ethics of Remote Operations’ as part of the RAF Museum’s Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies.


This presentation examines how Predator and Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (drones) with lethal strike capability – as opposed to drones whose use is limited to intelligence gathering or surveillance – came to occupy such a ubiquitous place in recent conflicts: the Afghanistan War; America’s wider war against Al-Qaeda from Pakistan to Yemen and Somalia; and the war against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Drawing on a chapter from his recent book Truth Wars: The Politics of Climate Change, Military Intervention and Financial Crisis, Peter will compare three distinct applications of drone capability in the operations of three separate institutions: the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The United States Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF). The arguments of opponents and proponents of the technology will be examined, highlighting how competing claims about Reaper and Predator are contested in political, military and morality discourses: all with the aim of influencing the attitudes and behaviour of observers and gaining their support.


Please note that this lecture will be held in the main lecture theatre (MC001) at the University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1LY at 18:00PM on Thursday 19 November 2015.


This lecture is free of charge however; we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket, as seats are limited. Booking is quick and easy, we just need some basic contact information.



Dr Peter Lee is a Portsmouth University Principal Lecturer in Military Ethics and Political Theory who specialises in the ethics and ethos of remotely piloted aircraft (drone) operations, the politics and ethics of war and military intervention, and the politics and ethics of identity. In November 2012, Peter transferred from King’s College London after four years in the Air Power Studies Division and continues to lecture across a range of diverse subjects, from international relations to terrorism and insurgency. In 2012 he published his first book entitled Blair’s Just War: Iraq and the Illusion of Morality. He has recently written on the ethics of UAV operations and is regularly invited to lecture on this and other subjects to military, academic, political, religious and wider audiences. He published Truth Wars: The Politics of Climate Change, Military Intervention and Financial Crisis with Palgrave Macmillan in November 2014.


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