Are drones an appropriate and acceptable weapon of war, or do they subject innocent citizens to terrorism?

Those questions and others about the ethics of using drones in warfare will be the focus of “Distant Death: A Debate on Drones” Nov. 13, 7 p.m. at University of Richmond’s Cannon Memorial Chapel.

Conor Friedersdorf, staff writer for The Atlantic, will argue against drones, squaring off in an Oxford-style debate with Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow in governance studies at The Brookings Institution, who supports the use of drones as appropriate and acceptable. John Paul Jones, professor at Richmond School of Law, will moderate.

Friedersdorf opposes the current use of drones and has called for drone warfare reforms. His coverage focuses on politics and national affairs, and he is founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Wittes testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the subject, “Drones and the War on Terror: When Can the U.S. Target Alleged American Terrorists Overseas?” He is editor-in-chief of Lawfare, a national security-focused blog, and he is a member of the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on National Security and Law. He focuses on legal issues surrounding the war on terrorism and national security, judicial nominations and confirmations, and the federal courts.

The university will host the debate in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Richmond. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Mike Spear at