Does Unmanned Make Unacceptable?

In recent decades, the use of drones has risen sharply. At the same time, only a few states use armed drones. It is certain, however, that further development in robotics for military use will lead to more countries facing the decision of whether to acquire armed and even autonomous robots.

This report, published in 2011, argues that unmanned systems can play a useful role in supporting troop operations. At the same time it draws attention to the downside of unmanned systems: unmanned systems cannot win a war. Basically it is always, and possibly even more so now, a matter of boots on the ground. Moreover, there are several important ethical objections to using armed, unmanned systems. Does using drones not make it too easy to kill? Does a drone operator located thousands of miles away from his/her target have adequate information to make life or death decisions? Can the anxiety and antagonism that drones arouse in the civilian population be justified?


Date: 01/Mar/2011
Authors: Wim Zwijnenburg and Cor Oudes (PAX)

Share this via: