Killing by Remote Control: The Ethics of an Unmanned Military

Hardcover | May 28, 2013

EditorBradley Jay Strawser

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The increased military employment of remotely operated aerial vehicles, also known as drones, has raised a wide variety of important ethical questions, concerns, and challenges. Many of these have not yet received the serious scholarly examination such worries rightly demand. This volumeattempts to fill that gap through sustained analysis of a wide range of specific moral issues that arise from this new form of killing by remote control. Many, for example, are troubled by the impact that killing through the mediated mechanisms of a drone half a world away has on the pilots who flythem. What happens to concepts such as bravery and courage when a war-fighter controlling a drone is never exposed to any physical danger? This dramatic shift in risk also creates conditions of extreme asymmetry between those who wage war and those they fight. What are the moral implications of such asymmetry on the military that employs such drones and the broader questions for war and a hope for peace in the world going forward? Howdoes this technology impact the likely successes of counter-insurgency operations or humanitarian interventions? Does not such weaponry run the risk of making war too easy to wage and tempt policy makers into killing when other more difficult means should be undertaken? Killing By Remote Control directly engages all of these issues. Some essays discuss the just war tradition and explore whether the rise of drones necessitates a shift in the ways we think about the ethics of war in the broadest sense. Others scrutinize more specific uses of drones, such as theirpresent use in what are known as "targeted killing" by the United States. The book similarly tackles the looming prospect of autonomous drones and the many serious moral misgivings such a future portends.

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The increased military employment of remotely operated aerial vehicles, also known as drones, has raised a wide variety of important ethical questions, concerns, and challenges. Many of these have not yet received the serious scholarly examination such worries rightly demand. This volumeattempts to fill that gap through sustained analy...

Bradley Strawser is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He is also a Research Associate with Oxford's Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict. A prior Air Force Officer himself, Strawser's work specializes on the moral questions surrounding war ...

other books by Bradley Jay Strawser

Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:May 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199926123

ISBN - 13:9780199926121

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Table of Contents

Jeff McMahan: ForewordI: JUST WAR THEORY AND THE PERMISSIBILITY TO KILL BY REMOTE CONTROL1. Bradley J. Strawser: Introduction: The Moral Landscape of Unmanned Weapons2. Matthew Hallgarth: Just War Theory and Remote Military Technology: A Prime3. Asa Kasher and Avery Plaw: Distinguishing Drones: An ExchangeII: THE ETHICS OF DRONE EMPLOYMENT4. David Whetham: Drones and Targeted Killing: Angels or Assassins?5. Robert Sparrow: War without Virtue?6. Zack Beauchamp and Julian Savulescu: Robot Guardians: Teleoperated Combat Vehicles in Humanitarian Military Intervention7. Avery Plaw: Counting the Dead: The Proportionality of Predation in Pakistan8. Rebecca J. Johnson: The Wizard of Oz Goes to War: Unmanned Systems in Counterinsurgency9. Uwe Steinhoff: Killing Them Safely: Extreme Asymmetry and Its DiscontentsIII: AUTONOMOUS DRONES AND THE FUTURE OF UNMANNED WEAPONRY10. George R. Lucas, Jr.: Engineering, Ethics and Industry: the Moral Challenges of Lethal Autonomy11. Stephen Kershnar: Autonomous Weapons Pose No Moral ProblemIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The use of 'drones' (remotely piloted air vehicles) in war has grown exponentially in recent years. Clearly, this evolution presages an enormous explosion of robotic vehicles in war - in the air, on the ground, and on and under the sea. This collection of essays provides an invaluablecontribution to what promises to be one of the most fundamental challenges to our assumptions about ethics and warfare in at least the last century. The authors in this anthology approach the ethical challenges posed by these rapidly advancing technologies from a wide range of perspectives.Cumulatively, they represent an essential overview of the fundamental ethical issues involved in their development. This collection makes a key contribution to an urgently needed dialogue about the moral questions involved." --Martin L. Cook, Adm. James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics, Professor Leadership and Ethics, College of Operational and Strategic Leadership, U.S. Naval War College