Essay The Ethics of Drone Warfare

Words: 1555
Pages: 7

The Ethics of Drone Warfare
Jason Hollas
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
MGMT 325 Social Responsibility & Ethics

The Ethics of Drone Warfare

Eleven years ago, the United States Air Force launched a missile from a drone for the first time at a test range in the Nevada desert (Drone Test) . The use of armed drones has risen dramatically since 2009. Now drone strikes are almost a daily occurrence. In 2011 the use of drones continued to rise with strikes in (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia. Proponents of armed drones argue that their ability to watch and wait, with their highly accurate sensors and cameras gives increased control over when and where to strike its both increasing the chances of success and
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The strikes have generated strong protests from Pakistanis who claim that many civilians as well as militants have been killed. The US takes the position that those strikes are permissible as part of the war against terror. The United States is surely right to seek to minimise its own casualties, but if war can be waged by one side without any risk to the life killing large numbers of persons who we would never allow to be killed if they were in another geographic zone—if they were in the United States, for example. While Americans debate the ethics of killing American citizens abroad without a trial, as happened in May 2010, an errant U.S drone strike killed Jabr Al-Shabwani, the popular deputy governor of Marib Province, in the country’s east. Al-Shabwani had been mediating a discussion between militants and the government when the hellfire missile struck. The death of Al Shabwani outraged Yemenis across the country. And the government approval of the drone strikes has stoked separatist sentiments in the south that have plagued the country for generations. "People can make themselves liable to be killed by a drone strike in defence of the non-liable people they are threatening." (Rory Carroll) The practice of using unmanned aerial vehicles to target suspected terrorists in southern Yemen has had myriad repercussions, beyond just