Accession Number:

ADA590671

Title:

The Morality of Employing Remotely Piloted Weapon Systems in Combat

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

34.0

Abstract:

Some question the morality of employing remotely piloted weapon systems in combat. This paper claims that the use of these systems in combat is moral when they are used effectively, with restraint, and with prudence. The term remotely piloted weapon system is defined to ensure common understanding, and the perspectives of utilitarianism, Just War Theory, pacifism, and realism are evaluated to show whether they justify the employment of remotely piloted weapon systems. With the exception of pacifism, each of these perspectives shows appropriate justification for the employment of remotely piloted weapon systems. The paper also presents five considerations for the fielding of new or future remotely piloted weapon systems 1 these systems should not evolve to become completely autonomous systems 2 these systems will continue to require the ability to strike targets with increased accuracy 3 accurate and timely intelligence support is integral to the use of these systems 4 the public should be educated about these systems, and the term unmanned should not be used whenever a weapon system is actually controlled or piloted by a person or persons and 5 since discretion and restraint are factors in using these systems, five filters are offered to guide ones thinking.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE