Essay on Use Of Drones For Targeted Killings

811 Words Aug 9th, 2014 4 Pages
A squad of American soldiers are pinned down by sniper on the roof of a building of a village in Afghanistan. The squad has two options to deal with the threat. Their first is to have a nearby American sniper team in the area kill the enemy sniper. The second is for a member of the squad to use a Switchblade “kamikaze” drone to kill the sniper with a small explosive. Assuming both options have a low risk of collateral damage and accomplish the same goal, the two choices though differing in practicality, are morally equal.
A drone is a tool. Like an axe, a spade, or thirty million dollar fighter jet, it is neither moral or immoral, but it can be used morally, immorally, or with moral neutrality. While the use of drones for other purposes particularly surveillance pose moral questions of their own, I will attempt to focus on the use of drones for targeted killings. Morality is about choices and the choice to take a human life should be the most difficult of all. This essay is not about the morality of targeted killings conducted by the United States in the War on Terror, but about the tool they utilize. If a drone allows a more completion of that war’s day-to-day goals, then the choice to use it is justified. The Predator and Reaper systems utilized by the United States Air Force and Central Intelligence do allow for a more “moral” war. Their moral superiority over more conventional tools however does not translate to need for full autonomy. The principal moral question…

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