Last updated on: 4/3/2014 | Author:

Michael Boyle, PhD Biography

Assistant Professor of Political Science at LaSalle University and former Counterterrorism Expert Group Advisor at Obama for America
Con to the question "Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?"

“The Obama administration’s embrace of drones is encouraging a new arms race for drones that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent, destabilized and polarized between those who have drones and those who are victims of them.

It is ironic that Al-Qaeda’s image of the United States—as an all-seeing, irreconcilably hostile enemy who rains down bombs and death on innocent Muslims without a second thought—is inadvertently reinforced by a drones policy that does not bother to ask the names of its victims. Even the casual anti-Americanism common in many parts of Europe, the Middle East and Asia, much of which portrays the US as cruel, domineering and indifferent to the suffering of others, is reinforced by a drones policy which involves killing foreign citizens on an almost daily basis. A choice must be made: the US cannot rely on drones as it does now while attempting to convince others that these depictions are gross caricatures. Over time, an excessive reliance on drones will deepen the reservoirs of anti-US sentiment, embolden America’s enemies and provide other governments with a compelling public rationale to resist a US-led international order which is underwritten by sudden, blinding strikes from the sky…

Far from being a world where violence is used more carefully and discriminately, a drones-dominated world may be one where human life is cheapened because it can so easily, and so indifferently, be obliterated with the press of a button.”

“The Costs and Consequences of Drone Warfare,” International Affairs, Jan. 2013

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Assistant Professor of Political Science, La Salle University, 2010-present
  • Contributing Writer, The Guardian, 2007-present
  • Lecturer and Research Fellow, Center for Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St. Andrews, 2006-2010
  • Advisor, Counterterrorism Expert Group, Obama for America, 2007-2008
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, 2005-2006
  • Fulbright Postgraduate Fellowship, Australian National University, 2004-2005
  • Hamburg Fellow in Conflict Prevention, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, 2003-2004
  • Education:
  • PhD, International Relations, University of Cambridge, 2005
  • MPP, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2001
  • MPhil, International Relations, University of Cambridge, 1999
  • BA, Political Science and English, La Salle University, 1998
  • Other:
  • Participant in a debate on drone warfare hosted by Intelligence Squared in London in Feb. 2013
  • Interviewed for stories by the Associated Press, BBC Radio 4, Charlie Rose Show, France 24, HuffPost Live, NPR All Things Considered, Radio France International, and the Scotsman.
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?