Reaper Force explores the secretive community of Royal Air Force Reaper drone operators. In the aftermath of 9/11, the advent of lethal drones introduced a new dimension to the way that air power is used in the twenty-first century. When the Royal Air Force acquired two remotely piloted Reaper squadrons to fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan, controversy and public criticism followed. Yet despite much speculation almost nothing is known about the Reaper operators: what they do, how it affects them and how it shapes every part of their professional and family lives. Peter Lee has been allowed unprecedented access to British Reaper drone operations at both RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, UK and Creech Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, Nevada. This book tells the story of the Royal Air Force Reaper Force through the experiences and words of those who are pioneering this new way of waging war. Every area of their lives are explored, from the exhilaration of a successful missile strike against Islamic State jihadists to the mental toll of straddling wartime and peacetime every day for years on end.
Peter Lee is a scholar who specialises in the politics and ethics of war and military intervention. This interest first emerged at the bedsides of grievously injured and dying soldiers during the first five months of the 2003 Iraq War. At the time he was serving as a Royal Air Force chaplain at the British military hospital in Cyprus. Profoundly affected by the physical and emotional carnage he encountered, Peter would go on to swap chaplaincy for academia in 2008.
Those experiences eventually led to his first book, Blair’s Just War: Iraq and the Illusion of Morality (Palgra...
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