Sudden Justice

America's Secret Drone Wars

Chris Woods

An even-handed exposé of the little-understood yet extremely significant world of drone warfare

Comprehensive insights from many of those intimately involved — the pilots and analysts, Special Forces and intelligence officials, and Pentagon commanders who have fought America’s secret drone wars.

Author is an award-winning journalist whose investigations for major news outlets have helped expose the hidden realities of drone warfare

Bibliographic Details
Sudden Justice Hardback
April 2015£20.00

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Sudden Justice 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. Days after 9/11, a CIA Predator in Afghanistan executed the world’s first lethal drone strike. The Agency’s role was no accident — it had nurtured and developed drones for almost a decade, seeking a platform from which it could monitor its targets and act lethally and instantly on what was learned. 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.

But there is another, covert 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 secret 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 where the long-term strategic interests of the West may have been jeopardised.

Chris Woods is a widely-published investigative journalist who specialises in conflict and national security issues. A former senior BBC Panorama producer, he has authored some of the key investigations into covert US drone strikes and their true effects. He was recently awarded the Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize for his work.

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‘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