The American Way of Bombing

We are pleased to present one of the best books of 2014, “The American Way of Bombing. Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones“, edited by  Matthew  Evangelista and Henry  Shue (Cornell University Press 2014).

Here you’ll find the details of the book, which brings together prominent military historians, practitioners, civilian and military legal experts, political scientists, philosophers, and anthropologists to explore the evolution of ethical and legal norms governing air warfare.

Here  you’ll find contents and contributors.

Some reviews of the book are available here.

As reported by the official website of the Cornell University Press: “Focusing primarily on the United States—as the world’s preeminent military power and the one most frequently engaged in air warfare, its practice has influenced normative change in this domain, and will continue to do so—the authors address such topics as firebombing of cities during World War II; the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the deployment of airpower in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya; and the use of unmanned drones for surveillance and attacks on suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and elsewhere“.

We recommend the book, especially for those interested in air warfare, legal and ethical issues, technology and contemporary conflicts.

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – Week 31

Hunting for a new SecDef in the US started as Chuck Hagel left his post on Monday. Failing, allegedly, to convince President Obama that the Pentagon has a coherent strategy to deal with ISIS. To fill the vacancy, someone should be very knowledgeable about Russia too.

Drone policy is one of the hottest issues for the CIA as well as the Pentagon, and it also plays an important role in the new season of Homeland. Debate rages on ethics and effectiveness, but it seems that in Iraq and Syria the largest problem for the US is drones’ scarcity.

Given that, how effective is “conventional” airpower in dealing with the issue? DefenseOne provides a calculation of “how many flying hours it takes to kill a terrorist”.

Always on robots, John Little of BlogsofWar discusses the implications of advancements in robotics in a podcast. The argument? Technological innovation might not favor the inventors but rather those who can exploit more fully because they have less ethical constraints.  

Food for thought (as usual) by Stephen Walt. In a list of the Top 5 Foreign Policy Lessons of the Past Twenty Years  you will find controversial and counterintuitive statements. Probably even something that stirs up rage. But it’s realism as it best.

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