Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Joseph J. St. Marie

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Robert J. Pauly, Jr.

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Tom Lansford

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Michael Wigginton, Jr.

Committee Member 4 School

Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security


In the years following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States ramped up its usage of drones and drone strikes around the world. Spanning three United States’ presidents, drone strikes became a regular feature in the US military arsenal. While American newspaper media and citizens have been very pro-drone, global citizens view drones in a far more negative light. This study examines US military drone strikes and English-speaking allied newspapers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and evaluates if coverage remains positive or negative depending on the newspaper’s conservative or liberal leanings from 2008–2019. The argument was tested by using a qualitative research methods methodology using a case study approach and newspaper content analysis with the theory of smart power. The results of this study found that the political leanings in our English-speaking allies’ newspapers do have some influence if the articles are positive or negative towards US drone strikes, but it is not a one size fits all situation. American newspapers, the liberal New York Times and the conservative Wall Street Journal, remained positive towards US drone strikes throughout the years of this study. Interestingly, this study also found that as the years of war continued, the number of drone strike articles found in the US and our English-speaking allied newspapers decreased, perhaps reflecting a donor fatigue situation.


Available for download on Sunday, June 18, 2023