This book assesses the ethical implications of using armed unmanned aerial vehicles (so-called 'hunter-killer drones'), such as the Predator and Reaper, in contemporary conflicts such as Afghanistan and Yemen. The book's analysis focuses on the United States, which has recently engaged in the most extensive and conspicuous use of this technology (in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia), although the lessons to be drawn from US experience are applicable to any other country that uses or seeks to use armed drones. The two main themes of the book are moral permissibility and moral motivation. The first concerns the circumstances under which armed drones may and should be used. In addressing the second theme, the book inquires into whether or how a mode of killing that entails no physical risk to the killer can be morally distinguished from other, non-warlike (e.g. law enforcement or murderous) forms of violence. Both themes necessarily touch upon some sociological considerations: how are drones and drone operators regarded within the military profession, and how does drone technology affect civilian perceptions of war and warriors? The book's overall objectives are to explain how and why armed drones are used, to assess the moral motivations and ethical dilemmas associated with their use, and to suggest possible implications for war and military ethics of a future shift from remotely-controlled to autonomous drones. Unlike existing books that discuss military robotics, mostly from a technical and/or operational perspective, this book is focused exclusively on drones and employs an ethical framework of analysis. Concepts within the Just War tradition (comprised of jus ad bellum and jus in bello principles) are considered alongside empirical data available on the public record. The book is timely because of recently increasing interest on the part of some governments in the military and counterterrorism opportunities that armed drones afford. To date, the amount of ethics-oriented scholarship and policymaking on drones has not been commensurate with either the pace of technological advancement or the degree of financial and operational commitment to unmanned airpower. This book will be of much interest to students of the ethics of war, airpower, counter-terrorism, strategic studies and security studies in general.
Operating aircraft once required pilots to take to the skies in the cockpits of airplanes, helicopters, and other large vehicles. However, this has all changed with the latest improvements in drone technology. Readers will discover how today's pilots can remotely operate the latest aircraft from the surface. They will also learn how drones can be used to visit places no other aircraft could reach, why drones are so important to modern military operations, and why these unmanned aircraft are so controversial.
WELCOME TO THE BOLD NEW FUTURE WHERE WE ALL MUST DO OUR RESEARCH AND OUR HOMEWORK TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE IN THIS NEW WORLD AND THIS IS ONE IN A SERIES OF BOOKS TO HELP YOU DO JUST THAT.
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