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The Ethics of Drone Strikes: Does Reducing the Cost of Conflict Encourage War?

Authored by Dr. James Igoe Walsh, Dr. Marcus Schulzke.

The Ethics of Drone Strikes: D... Cover Image

Brief Synopsis

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Armed unmanned aerial vehicles—combat drones—have fundamentally altered the ways the United States conducts military operations aimed at countering insurgent and terrorist organizations. Drone technology is on track to become an increasingly important part of the country’s arsenal, as numerous unmanned systems are in development and will likely enter service in the future. Concerned citizens, academics, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, and policymakers have raised questions about the ethical consequences of drones and issued calls for their military use to be strictly regulated. This level of concern is evidence that the future of drone warfare not only hinges on technical innovations, but also on careful analysis of the moral and political dimensions of war. Regardless of whether drones are effective weapons, it would be difficult to sanction their use if they undermine the legitimacy of U.S. military forces or compromise the foundations of democratic government.

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Also by the Authors/Editor:

The Effectiveness of Drone Strikes in Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Campaigns

View other pubs in the following categories:

Military Change and Transformation
Military Strategy and Policy
21st Century Warfare
Future Technology

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