Over the last decade, the rapid pace of innovation with drone technology has led to dozens of new and innovative commercial and scientific applications, from Amazon drone deliveries to the patrolling of national parks with drones. But what is less understood is how the spread of unmanned technology will change the patterns of war and peace in the future. Will the use of drones produce a more stable world or will it lead to more conflict? Will drones gradually replace
humans on the battlefield or will they empower soldiers to act more precisely, and humanely, in crisis situations? How will drones change surveillance around the world and at home?
In The Drone Age, Michael J. Boyle examines how unmanned technology alters the decision-making and risk calculus of its users both on and off the battlefield. It shows that the introduction of drones changes the dynamics of wars, humanitarian crises and peacekeeping missions, empowering some actors while making others more vulnerable to surveillance and even attack. The spread of drones is also reordering geopolitical fault lines and providing new ways for states to test the nerves
and strategic commitments of their rivals. Drones are also allowing terrorist groups like the Islamic State to take to the skies and to level the playing field against their enemies. Across the world, the low financial cost of drones and the reduced risks faced by pilots is making drone technology an essential
tool for militaries, peacekeeping forces and even private companies. From large surveillance drones to insect-like micro-drones, unmanned technology is revolutionizing the way that states and non-state actors compete with each other and is providing game-changing benefits to those who can most rapidly adapt unmanned technology to their own purposes.
An essential guide to a potentially disruptive force in modern world politics, The Drone Age shows how the mastery of drone technology will become central to the ways that governments and non-state actors seek power and influence in the coming decades.