The Moral and Ethical Implications of Precision-Guided Munitions
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
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This work explores the relationship between one of the most significant military developments to emerge in the past century, namely, aerial precisionguided munitions and their relationship with the just-war tradition. The thesis is straightforward. There are moral, social, and political dilemmas associated with a perfect aerial precision bombardment capability that are influenced by the just-war tradition and may not be readily apparent to political decision makers and military strategists. This work examines the historical development of aerial precision since World War I and the emergence of the just-war tradition and international law since 1625. It then identifies specific dilemmas associated with the two sorts of judgments required by the just-war tradition, namely, jus ad bellum justice of war and jus in bello justice in war, and explores their ramifications. The aim of this study is to encourage moral and ethical reflection by politicians, strategists, and tacticians at all levels. The issues at hand are aerial precision doctrine, the use of the precision-guided munition as the modern aerial weapon of choice, and the influence of the just-war tradition on strategic and tactical decisions.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Humanities and History
- Guided Munitions