Portsmouth Business School

Past Hot Topics

What about the humans?: Drones and modern warfare

  • Date: 25 November 2015

Drawing upon his research with the drone crews of the Royal Air Force Reaper (Drone) squadrons, Dr Peter Lee explored some of the ethical and political questions raised by the UK's drone operations in recent years, including the position of drone operators, while investigative journalist and author Chris Woods looked at the consequences of drone warfare including civilian casualties.

video placeholder


Dr Peter Lee ‌is a University of Portsmouth Principal Lecturer in Ethics and Political Theory who explores the ways in which politics, truth and ethics interact in remotely piloted aircraft (drone) operations, in the shaping of identity and behaviour, and in war and military intervention.

He previously spent four years in the Air Power Studies Division at King’s College London. In 2012 Peter published Blair’s Just War: Iraq and the Illusion of Morality and in 2015 published Truth Wars: The Politics of Climate Change, Military Intervention and Financial Crisis, both with Palgrave Macmillan.


Chris Woods ‌is a widely-published investigative journalist who specialises in conflict and national security issues. A former senior BBC Panorama producer, he has authored some of the key investigations into covert US drone strikes and their true effects.

He was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize in 2013 for his work, and his new book Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone Wars has just been published.