Oh, the uses of drones…





Maybe it’s ok, if not more than a little creepy, for Amazon to want to use drones to deliver us a book or something, BUT — it’s an entirely different thing when the military wants to use drones to deliver death.

The advantage to drones is obvious, our military members wouldn’t be in harm’s way while hunting bad-guys.

The problems come when it’s pointed out that a) there is a communication lag between the operator and the drone OR b) the operator is in harm’s way.

With the communication gap, come the problems… bad guys, especially when the drone closes in, can easily move out of the target range and a “good” guy can move in and get killed.  At this point, we’ve violated the most important just war principle, non-combatant immunity.  That’s a bad thing.

It’s also the case that drones are likely to desensitize us to the costs of war, real costs that have kept us out of wars in the past.  Now, if we can send a machine in to do the killing, we don’t have to calculate whether or not our soldiers ought to be involved in the conflict — i.e. whether resolving that conflict can justify the inevitable loss to our side.

For those reasons, perhaps the military should leave the drones to Amazon — although, I’m under no illusion that is going to happen.




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Filed under Applied Ethics, Business Ethics, Military Ethics

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