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

Paddy Ashdown Biography

Former Member of UK Parliament and UN High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pro to the question "Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?"

“It is said that every week President Obama sits down with his advisers and personally decides how drones will be used in the week ahead. Can we imagine what that must be like for a democratically elected politician? No taking shelter behind a command chain that reaches right down to the judgment of the poor bloody soldier on the ground. This time the President is personally involved — personally accountable; perhaps even in a way that could, theoretically at least, be open to challenge before an international court of law.

So if we want political accountability for the violent actions of war taken in our name — and presumably we do — then we get more of it, not less, from a decision by a politician to launch a ‘smart’ bomb from a drone than one taken, for instance by a pilot in a split second, in the heat of conflict, 25,000 ft above the battlefield.”

“If You’re Opposed to Drones, Then Think Again,” Times of London, Feb. 14, 2013

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • President, UNICEF UK, 2009-present
  • Life Peer, House of Lords, 2001-present
  • United Nations High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2002-2006
  • Member of Parliament, Yeovil, United Kingdom, 1983-2001
  • Leader, Liberal Democrats, UK Parliament, 1988-1999
  • Youth Worker, Dorset County Council Youth Service, 1981-1983
  • Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, UK Labour Party, 1976-1981
  • Foreign Intelligence Officer, Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), British Mission to the United Nations, 1972-1976
  • Royal Marines Officer, UK Royal Marines, 1959-1972
  • Member, Governing Council, Interpeace
  • President, Chatham House

None found

  • Received Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, New Year Honours List, 2006
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, Bournemouth University, 2001
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Bath, 2001
  • Received Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 2000
  • Born on Feb. 24, 1941 in New Delhi, India
  • Fluent in Mandarin Chinese
  • Twitter handle @paddyashdown
  • Legal name is Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, GCMG KBE PC
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?