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Moral Hazard of Drone Warfare
Moral Hazard of Drone Warfare

AIR DATE: July 30, 2012

We all cheered when the Navy Seals captured and killed Osama bin Laden. Many of his cohorts in Al Qaeda and the Pakistan Taliban have been killed by unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. This seems an effective way to deal with terrorists, but some critics have taken issue with the idea that the drones' efficiency makes it the most moral way to root out terrorism.
John Kaag, Department of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
Sarah Kreps, Deptartment of Government, Cornell University, and author, Coalitions of Convenience: United States Military Intervention After the Cold War


    comments powered by Disqus
    I'm glad SON is presenting some dissenting voices on the rise of drones. Proponents of the use of UASs insist that there is a great advantage to fighting wars in real-time by pilots sitting at consoles in offices on air bases far from the dangerous front line of military activity. With less risk to the lives of our soldiers and hence to the popularity and careers of politicians, the deaths of enemy noncombatants by the thousands are counted acceptable. The illusion that war can be waged with no domestic cost dehumanizes both us and our enemies. It fosters a callous disregard for human life that can lead to even more recklessness on the part of politicians.
    Jim HaberJul 28, 2012 16:07:26 PM
    Let's see... we often fly drones over other sovereign nations without their permission, and we have on at least two occasions used them to kill American citizens without due process. With regard to the first, we would certainly consider flying foreign drones over the U.S. as an act of war, so that doesn't pass the smell test. As for the second, we should not ever be taking away the constitutional rights of citizens by putting them on "kill lists", no matter how bad or evil they might be. Worst of all, though, is that history tells us that all government power and technology will be abused to the maximum extent possible, so expect drones over our cities soon. Whoops, I forgot, they've already been used here! Get ready for Act 2 of this ongoing power play between citizens and the state.
    Tom HurstJul 25, 2012 13:56:35 PM
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