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Drones and the Future of Armed ConflictEthical, Legal, and Strategic Implications$
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David Cortright, Rachel Fairhurst, and Kristen Wall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226258058

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226258195.001.0001

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Drone Warfare and Military Ethics

Drone Warfare and Military Ethics

(p.46) Chapter Three Drone Warfare and Military Ethics
Drones and the Future of Armed Conflict

Martin L. Dr. Cook

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the use of drone technology from the perspective of professional military ethics, asking when and how drone use is consistent with achieving legitimate and ethically permissible military purposes. It traces how technological advances and the changing nature of conflict have combined to influence security policy and military culture. Acknowledging the tactical and short-term operational advantages of drones, the chapter notes that the use of drone weapons may have a negative strategic impact, such as increasing recruitment rates among militant groups. The chapter also discusses the impact of drone weapons on those who operate them and addresses the potential erosion of the ‘warrior ethos.’ Robotic warfare alters the moral meaning of war as patriotic duty and risks making targeting killing appear normal and antiseptic.

Keywords:   military ethics, warrior ethos, tactics, international law, technology

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