Essay on Drone Warfare: Rethinking Morals

2016 Words9 Pages
In the last century, warfare has made leaps and bounds and progressed at a rate many thought unobtainable. In the last century alone, our world has developed the airplane and developed it to the point where it can be controlled from a trailer on the other side of the world. While much of our progression has made killing more precise and we have become less likely to inflict the horrors of civilian deaths, we still must consider the moral implications of our weapon systems. Much of our current basis for just war is rooted in traditional weapon systems. With the advent of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or drones), countries are able to place their warfighters in a state of zero self-risk. While incredibly advantageous for the countries with…show more content…
However, one article claims that drones may be morally obligatory because they are much more precise in identifying and striking targets (Shane). Additionally, intelligence can be shared cross-platform and cross-service which enables the United States to strategically operate in a joint environment. UAVs are also more efficient. With the progression of aircraft systems, the human is fast becoming the weakest link in defense systems; UAVs help mitigate this reality (Singer 37). UAVs are also cost effective with a Predator costing a mere $4.5 million compared to an F-35 which is roughly 30 times a Predator (Singer 34). With all these advantages, it is easy to see why the UAV is quickly becoming the weapon of choice for striking insurgents and gathering intelligence. The growth of UAVs has been almost as remarkable as the growth of aviation. During just the Iraq war, the amount of UAVs used in operation has been grown from a handful in 2003 to approximately in 5300 in the Department of Defense alone (Singer 35). This number does not include the use of drones by other governmental agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Defense. Furthermore, much of the technology afforded to manned aircraft has been extended to UAVs such as stealth capabilities and the adaptation of air-to-ground weapons. Note that

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