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Wayne Phelps

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Buy On Killing Remotely

On Killing Remotely: The Psychology of Killing with Drones

Throughout history society has determined specific rules of engagement between adversaries in armed conflict. With advances in technology from armor in the Middle Ages to nerve gas in World War I to weapons of mass destruction in our own time, the rules have constantly evolved. Today, when killing the enemy can seem palpably risk-free and tantamount to playing a violent video game, what constitutes warfare? What is the effect of remote combat on individual warriors? And what are the unforeseen repercussions that could affect us all?

LtCol Wayne Phelps, a former commander of a remotely piloted aircraft squadron, addresses these questions and many others as he tells the story of the men and women of today's remote warriors. Exploring the ethics of remote military engagement, the misconceptions about PTSD among RPA operators, and the specter of military weaponry controlled by robots, this book is an urgent and compelling reminder that it should always be difficult to kill another human being lest we risk losing what makes us human.

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About The Author

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Wayne Phelps is a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. During his military career he deployed five times, including two deployment to Afghanistan, two deployments to Iraq and one deployment aboard a U.S. Navy ship. He was amongst the first conventional troops on the ground in Pakistan after 9/11. He also participated in the initial invasion into Iraq in 2003 and the troop surge into Afghanistan in 2010. He commanded units at every level from Platoon to Squadron, served as an instructor at the Marine Corps’ premier aviation training squadron, and served as a staff officer in the Pentagon.


     In 2014 he was selected to become a UAS (drone) pilot and he attended the Air Force’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Undergraduate training becoming the first Marine honor graduate. His last assignment was as the Commanding Officer of Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron Three (VMU-3) in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. As the Commanding Officer, he deployed four teams to conduct counter-terrorism operations against violent extremist organizations.  


     He holds a master’s degree in military studies and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. His personal military decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (x2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (x3) (one with combat “V” for valor), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Honorable Order of St Barbara, and 2012 Marine Corps Aviation Association Command and Control Officer of the Year.  


He currently resides in Austin, TX with his wife and two children. 

In The Press


For any media inquiries, please contact:

Katharine Myers, Publicist, Hachette Book Group

Phone: 212-364-1135


Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis Associates, Inc.

200 East 72nd Street

Suite 28J

New York, NY 10021

Phone: 212-772-7363

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