The book

Drones are transforming warfare through the use of artificial intelligence, drone swarms, and surveillance—leading to competition between the US, China, Israel, and Iran. Who will be the next drone superpower?

In the battle for the streets of Mosul in Iraq, drones in the hands of ISIS terrorists made life hell for the Iraq army and civilians. Today, defense companies are racing to develop the lasers, microwave weapons, and technology necessary for confronting the next drone threat. Seth J. Frantzman takes the reader from the midnight exercises with Israel’s elite drone warriors, to the CIA headquarters where new drone technology was once adopted in the 1990s to hunt Osama bin Laden.

This rapidly expanding technology could be used to target nuclear power plants and pose a threat to civilian airports. In the Middle East, the US used a drone to kill Iranian arch-terrorist Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian commander. Drones are transforming the battlefield from Syria to Libya and Yemen. For militaries and security agencies—the main users of expensive drones—the UAV market is expanding as well; there were more than 20,000 military drones in use by 2020. Once the province of only a few militaries, drones now being built in Turkey, China, Russia, and smaller countries like Taiwan may be joining the military drone market. It’s big business, too—$100 billion will be spent over the next decade on drones. Militaries may soon be spending more on drones than tanks, much as navies transitioned away from giant vulnerable battleships to more agile ships. The future wars will be fought with drones and won by whoever has the most sophisticated

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From the pioneers in Israel to the recent clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia

This is the first comprehensive look at the history of military drones, from the pioneers in Israel to the recent clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It follows the key developments on the battlefields and in board rooms as it traces how remotely piloted small planes became a revolutionary technology for warfighters. Drones are rapidly transforming the future of war, the way tanks or firearms once did. Drone Wars follows not only the developments in drone technology, but also looks at how countries are trying to defend against them. From kamikaze drones used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen to terrorize Saudi Arabia to the latest defense systems that use missiles, guns and lasers, the reader is taken on a whirlwind tour across the globe as countries race to develop the latest technology. It also looks at the ethical critiques of use of armed drones and the changes globally as countries seek to buy the latest drones and outfit units from special forces to the navy with unmanned aerial systems.

Written based on interviews with key officials, generals and companies, along with the author’s. own experiences on the frontlines in Iraq across the Middle East, Drone Wars is the first book to look at the developing drone armies being fielded globally.

About the author

Seth J. Frantzman (PhD) is the Middle East affairs correspondent at The Jerusalem Post and author of After ISIS: America, Israel and the Struggle for the Middle East (Gefen, 2019). He received his PhD from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has lived in Israel since 2004 where he has covered the Disengagement from Gaza, three Gaza wars, the war against ISIS, Iran tensions, and current regional threats and developments. He is executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, Bloomberg, The Hill, Atlantic Council, Defense News, The Spectator, The National Interest, many of which he is a regular contributor to. He has also appeared on CNN, BBC and media from Greece to Iraq. He is the founder of the Israel Gulf Report which focuses on developments in the wake of the Abraham Accords and peace between Israel and the Gulf states. 

A former lecturer at Palestinian Al-Quds University, where he focused on US foreign policy, Frantzman has reported from and conducted research in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the UAE. His new book Drone Wars will be released in the summer of 2021 and focuses on how military drones are changing the future battlefield. Frantzman was born in Maine and received his B.A from the University of Arizona. 

Advanced praise for Drone Wars

“A riveting account of one of the most significant developments in contemporary warfare – the evolution and proliferation of drones.  Seth Frantzman provides a compelling description of this development  and of the challenges facing the US and other countries as they grapple with the rapidly emerging threats posed by the new technology.  He also conveys a sobering analysis about how this technology is transforming warfare and a convincing case for better defenses against drones in the hands of terrorists, non-state actors, and near-peer adversaries.  This is a very important book.”  General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.), former Commander of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and Coalition and US Forces in Afghanistan, and former Director of the CIA.

“A fast-paced account of the pioneers behind today’s military drones, in Drone Wars author Seth J. Frantzman sheds light on the shadowy world of military drones and how these new technologies are changing the modern battlefield. The global proliferation of drones and their incorporation by militaries and terror groups creates an urgency for developing and fielding defenses against drones and keeping up with countries and groups that may pose an increasing threat.This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the way warfare is evolving in the 21st Century.” – Richard Kemp, former Commander of British forces in Afghanistan and led the international terrorism team at Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

Praise for Seth Frantzman’s After ISIS: America, Iran and the Struggle for the Middle East (2019)

Frantzman s book masterfully analyses modern and post-modern components of the ISIS phenomenon, backing his analysis with comprehensive fieldwork. —Serkan Seker, Ahval

For anyone wishing to understand how this all came about and what might follow, After ISIS is essential reading, —Neville Teller, The Jerusalem Post

Insightful and gripping reporting from the nightmare ISIS made. A tour de force of today’s, and probably tomorrow’s, bloody frontlines in the Middle East. —Ambassador Alberto Fernandez, President, Middle East Broadcasting Networks –This text refers to the paperback edition.