Author Biography

Dr. Matthew Crosston, Professor of Political Science, is the Miller Chair for Industrial and International Security and Director of the International Security and Intelligence Studies (ISIS) program at Bellevue University. Crosston has authored two well-received books, several book chapters and fifteen peer-reviewed articles in venues like the Journal of Strategic Security, International Politics, Journal of Military and Strategic Affairs, Comparative Strategy, Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Central Asian Survey, Journal of Global Analysis, and Democracy and Security. His research agenda continues to address counter-terrorism, intelligence analysis, failed democratization, and cyber war/ethics. His works have been translated into Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, and Uzbek. In 2013 Crosston was named the Outstanding Instructor by the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE). He has a BA from Colgate, MA from the University of London, and PhD from Brown.



Subject Area Keywords

China, Counterterrorism, Cybersecurity, International security, National security, Science and technology & security, Security studies


Present American policy proclaims the compatibility of drone usage with the traditional Rules of Engagement and the Laws of War. Largely absent in this is an examination of how enemy combatants are being defined on both sides of drone activity: not just the targets and operators but also the relevance of drone technology proliferation. This work engages the void to reveal inconsistent and contradictory ethical standards in American drone policy, based largely on an assumed continued technical preeminence that is by no means guaranteed. The argument is not a humanitarian lament against hegemony: it is a realist argument addressing how ethical inconsistencies in defining American technological warfare compromise the ‘leadership high ground’ for the United States in a manner that carries fairly significant national security blowback potential.