Drone wars

In recent years, the use of armed drones in the global battlefield has widely expanded as new state and non-state actors deploy drone technology to fire missiles or drop explosives.  Armed drones are now used by states (Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iraq, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates, for example) and non-state actors such as ISIS.

The global weaponisation of drones is spurred by collaborative research and development (R&D) projects among industry, governments and research institutions, a complex enmeshment of the defense industry with national governments, an easing on US export restrictions and a strong growth in Chinese and Israeli exports of weaponized platforms. While concern about civilians deaths from drone strikes is receiving less global attention, there has been a sharp increase in drone strikes and civilian deaths under the Trump administration.

This seminar, recorded as a podcast, takes stock of the globalisation of the drone wars and the consequences for civilians.

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (PRIO/UiO) and Gentian Zyberi (UiO/SMR) provide opening remarks, followed by a keynote presenation by Chris Woods (AirWars). Woods is director of the British-based organisation AirWars, the author of Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars, and a leading expert on drone usage.

This is followed by a discussion with Bruno Oliveira Martins (Malmö University), chaired by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (PRIO/UIO).

The seminar took place on 31 August 2017 and was co-hosted by the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS) the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (SMR/NCHR), the Research Group on Human Rights, Armed Conflict, and the Laws of Peace and Security at the University of Oslo, Fredslaget, and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).