This book discusses the moral and legal issues relating to military drones, focusing on how these machines should be judged according to the principles of just war theory. The author analyses existing drones, like the Predator and Reaper, but also evaluates the many types of drones in development. The book presents drones as not only morally justifiable but having the potential to improve compliance with the principles of just war and international law. Realizing this potential would depend on developing a sound regulatory framework, which the book helps to develop by considering what steps governments and military forces should take to promote ethical drone use. It also critically evaluates the arguments against drones to show which should be abandoned and which raise valid concerns that can inform regulations.
Marcus Schulzke is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of York, UK. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University at Albany, State University of New York, US, in 2013 with a dissertation on how soldiers make ethical decisions during counterinsurgency operations. His research focuses on the ethical challenges of conflict.
Introduction.- The Debate over Drone Warfare.- Just War Theory and Its Critics.- Evaluating the Morality of Drone Warfare.- Chapter Overview.- 1. The Drone Revolution.- Contested Language.- Degrees of Drone Autonomy.- The Many Faces of Drone Warfare.- The International Diffusion of Military Technology.- Risk During War.- Drones and the Reduction of Risk.- Machines and their Latent Potentials.- Conclusion.- 2. The Moral Landscape of Drone Warfare.- Drones and Targeted Killing.- Drones' Mechanical Faults and Technical Limitations.- Civil-Military Technology Sharing.- The Effects of Mediation on Civilian Populations.- Mediation's Influence on Drone Operations.- The Drone Arms Race.- Conclusions.- 3. Evaluating Drones with Jus ad bellum.- The Core Jus Ad Bellum Principles.- Applying Jus Ad Bellum to Drones.- The Assymetry Objection Against Remote Warfare.- Conclusion.- 4. Drones and the Principles of Jus in Bello.- The Principles of Discrimination and Proportionality.- The Jus in Bello Advantages of Using Drones.- Civilians in the War on Terror.- The Costs of Accidental Violence.- Getting from Facts to Values.- The Extent of 'Collateral Damage'.- Conclusion.- 5. Evaluating Autonomous Drones.- Are Autonomous Drones Inevitable?.- Could Autonomous Drones be Inherently Immoral?.- Malfunctioning Machines.- Assigning Responsibility.- Absolute Rules of Engagement.- Conclusion.- 6. The Politics of Drone Warfare: Enacting Restrictions based on Jus ad Bellum.- Existing Proposals for Regulation.- The Scope of Restrictions.- Applying the Appropriate Normative Framework.- Public Opinion as an Accountability Mechanism.- Strategy and Public Opinion.- Increasing Transparency.- Conclusion.- 7. Promoting Justifiable Drone Attacks in Bello.- Maintaining the Civil-Military Distinction.- Rethinking Military Virtue Ethics.- An Ethic of Rules.- Clarifying Chains of Command.- Drones and Prisoners of War.- Video Policing.- Conclusion.- Conclusion