Unmanned is an in-depth examination of why seemingly successful wars never seem to end. The problem centers on drones, now accumulated in the thousands, the front end of a spying and killing machine that is disconnected from either security or safety.

Drones, however, are only part of the problem. William Arkin shows that security is actually undermined by an impulse to gather as much data as possible, the appetite and the theory both skewed towards the notion that no amount is too much. And yet the very endeavor of putting fewer human in potential danger places everyone in greater danger. Wars officially end, but the Data Machine lives on forever.

Throughout his career, Arkin has exposed powerful secrets of so-called national security and intelligence. Now he continues that tradition. The most alarming book about warfare in years, Unmanned is essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of mankind.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"Arkin has done exemplary research, mastering a vast technical and specialized literature. And the questions he grapples with are not only legitimate but urgent."—The Washington Post
"Intelligence expert Arkin argues that the digital revolution, combined with a reluctance to suffer casualties, is ushering in what military planners see as "perfect"--endless, casualty-free--warfare in this ingenious, if depressing, work... Arkin makes worthwhile the effort of understanding both the extensive transformations modern militaries are experiencing and their far-from-perfect consequences."—Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

"Bill Arkin has a knack for stirring our national pot on uncomfortable issues that must be addressed. Today's world demands unconventional views on unconventional security challenges facing the United States. Bill asks tough questions of our security institutions, and the right answers demand a delicate balance between national-security preparedness and constitutional protections afforded to our citizens."—General Victor E. Renuart, Jr., USAF (Ret), commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. 2007-2010
"If anybody else had written this book, I would urge caution. But Bill Arkin has explored every nook and cranny of American national-security policy for decades, from nuclear-weapons targeting to war plans for the invasion of Iraq, and his reputation for sober accuracy is rock solid."—Thomas Powers, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda
"If Bill Arkin doesn't know it, it isn't worth knowing."—Thomas E. Ricks, author of The Generals
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