Last updated on: 4/24/2017 | Author:

Patrick B. Johnston, PhD Biography

Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation
Pro to the question "Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?"

“We find that drone strikes are associated with decreases in the incidence and lethality of terrorist attacks, as well as decreases in selective targeting of tribal elders… drone strikes, while unpopular, bolster US counterterrorism…

[O]ur findings provide key support for the hypothesis that new technologies – specifically, remote means of surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting – prove capable of disrupting and degrading militant organizations. In doing so, such technologies limit both the frequency and the lethality of militant attacks.”

Cowritten with Anoop K. Sarbahi, PhD, “The Impact of US Drone Strikes on Terrorism in Pakistan,” International Studies Quarterly, Jan. 2016

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to the legal or strategic use of drone strikes. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to drone strikes and related issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Political Scientist, RAND Corporation, 2011-present
  • Post-Doctoral Scholar, Stanford University, 2010-2011
  • Research Fellow, Harvard University, 2009-2011
  • Peace Scholar, United States Institute of Peace, 2009-2010
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, 2007-2009
  • PhD, Political Science, Northwestern University, 2009
  • MA, Political Science, Northwestern University, 2006
  • BA, History and Political Science, University of Minnesota, 2003
Contact Info:
412-683-2300, ext. 4412
  • Twitter handle: @johnston
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?