Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare

( 3 )

Overview

With Obama’s election to the presidency in 2008, many believed the United States had entered a new era: Obama came into office with high expectations that he would end the war in Iraq and initiate a new foreign policy that would reestablish American values and the United States’ leadership role in the world.

In this shattering new assessment, historian Lloyd C. Gardner argues that, despite cosmetic changes, Obama has simply built on the expanding power base of presidential power...

See more details below
Hardcover
$17.56
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$26.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $10.78   
  • New (13) from $12.98   
  • Used (6) from $10.78   
Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$26.95 List Price

Overview

With Obama’s election to the presidency in 2008, many believed the United States had entered a new era: Obama came into office with high expectations that he would end the war in Iraq and initiate a new foreign policy that would reestablish American values and the United States’ leadership role in the world.

In this shattering new assessment, historian Lloyd C. Gardner argues that, despite cosmetic changes, Obama has simply built on the expanding power base of presidential power that reaches back across decades and through multiple administrations.

The new president ended the “enhanced interrogation” policy of the Bush administration but did not abandon the concept of preemption. Obama withdrew from Iraq but has institutionalized drone warfare—including the White House’s central role in selecting targets. What has come into view, Gardner argues, is the new face of American presidential power: high–tech, secretive, global, and lethal.

Killing Machine skillfully narrates the drawdown in Iraq, the counterinsurgency warfare in Afghanistan, the rise of the use of drones, and targeted assassinations from al-Awlaki to Bin Laden—drawing from the words of key players in these actions as well as their major public critics. With unparalleled historical perspective, Gardner’s book is the new touchstone for understanding not only the Obama administration but the American presidency itself.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/02/2013
Counterinsurgency flopped in Afghanistan, declares veteran policy analyst and Rutgers emeritus professor of history Gardner (The Long Road to Baghdad), in this uncomfortably shrewd analysis of America’s perpetual yearning for a high-tech, low-casualty way to win wars. Gardner delivers an engrossing blow-by-blow account of a decade of fierce debates and painful events that offer excruciating parallels with the Vietnam War. By President Obama’s second administration, pressure to withdraw from Afghanistan was irresistible. The bloom was off counterinsurgency—it required too much money, too much time, and a competent Afghan government. Drones seemed to be the solution, and, as a bonus, they could strike terrorists anywhere, from Pakistan to Yemen to Somalia. Critics declared that these targeted assassinations disturb our allies, enrage governments, feed insurgencies by killing innocent bystanders, flout the Constitution by targeting American citizens, and maintain the secretive, pugnacious, jingoistic policies of the Bush administration, which Obama vowed to abolish. Gardner concludes that drones offer a deceptively easy way to continue our seemingly perpetual war against terrorism, but at the expense of the Constitution. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
A Publishers Weekly Book of the Week (November 11, 2013)

"Gardner delivers an engrossing blow-by-blow account of a decade of fierce debates and painful events that offer excruciating parallels with the Vietnam War."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Gardner's treatment of this brave new mode of presidential war-making is admirably comprehensive."
Bookforum

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-10
Straightforward, rigorous account of how President Barack Obama's embrace of high-tech militarism is changing the parameters of the presidency. Gardner (Emeritus, History/Rutgers Univ.; The Road to Tahrir Square: Egypt and the United States from the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak, 2011, etc.) presents a deeper narrative than the title implies, essentially utilizing the George W. Bush administration's decision to pursue war in Iraq at the expense of the Afghanistan campaign necessitated by 9/11 as a flash point that altered our ability to respond to terrorist threats. Thus, though the author concurs that Obama the constitutional scholar "fell into the embrace of Reaper and Predator drones by circumstances beyond his control," he still holds responsible the president and his various high-end deputies for blithely advocating their increased use in controversial environments like Pakistan and Yemen. Gardner excels at presenting a lucid narrative that focuses on both dramatic military events--such as the pursuit of the U.S.-born firebrand preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, put on the drone "kill list" after the 2009 "underwear bomb" attempt against an American airliner--and the complex ballet of political calculations that underlie America's aggressive foreign policy stance. Attentive to the issue's legal and moral complexities, the author depicts the insidious qualities of drones' attractiveness to both Obama and his many advisers, beyond the threat of imminent terrorism embodied by al-Awlaki: "Fighting insurgencies was supposedly a different matter altogether, and there was the rub." Ultimately, the high-tech lethality and legal obfuscation of drone warfare both suggest a handy metaphor for American power and a terrifying portent of the global future: By 2011, following American dissatisfaction with the ground war in Afghanistan, it seemed "the drone had replaced counterinsurgency." And even though the increased reliance on drones appeared cost-free, "Obama found himself in danger of losing control of the momentum of drone warfare" as he looked past his own second term. An evenhanded yet grim assessment of the growing consensus regarding "the lethal presidency."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595589187
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 645,359
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lloyd C. Gardner is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University and the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including The Long Road to Baghdad and Three Kings (both available from The New Press). He lives in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    V

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Dew

    Watches.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Prisnor's Camp

    ~$triking

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)