Skip to Content

My Palmetto College


Dr. Christine Rinehart with drone

Palmetto College professor researches drone strikes

By Annie Smith, USC Union

What are the effects of drone targeted killing in the Middle East, and is it a successful method in the War on Terror?   

Dr. Christine Sixta Rinehart, an assistant professor of political science at USC Union’s Laurens site, is researching the topics for her second book – Targeted Killing in the Middle East: An Appraisal of American Counterterrorism Policies.   

While serving as a visiting assistant professor at Wofford College, Rinehart was inspired to research the topic of targeted killing following a visit from and discussion with a lecturer from the University of Utah’s law school. The project began as a conference paper, but quickly exceeded the confines of a paper.     

In September 2015, she visited an air force base as part of research facilitated by a Research Initiative for Summer Engagement Rinehart’s drone strike research yields new book (RISE) Grant, where she studied and observed U.S. Air Force drone pilot training. “The more I researched, the more information I uncovered and I realized that I needed to write a book,” said Rinehart.    

Her research has thus far found that approximately 20 people have been killed for every drone strike in Pakistan since 2004. In 2015, in Afghanistan, alone, there is an average of 16.75 deaths per drone strike. In addition, drone strikes in Pakistan have led to an increase in suicide bombing attacks by the Pakistani Taliban.    

Targeted Killing in the Middle East: An Appraisal of American Counterterrorism Policies is expected to be published in late 2016 and is currently under contract with Lexington Books, publisher of Rinehart’s first book, Volatile Social Movements and the Origins of Terrorism, in 2014.