More and more of the U.S.'s warfare is being done semi-robotically by aircraft called drones. Originally used for surveillance, eventually they became armed and are now used for armed attacks including outright assassinations.

On the plus side, so the argument goes, we can engage in warfare without exposing troops to battlefield danger of severe injury and/or death. As I understand it, a lot of drones are operated by ground-based "pilots" in Nevada and elsewhere who can kill a key terrorist target (quite possibly with a dozen civilians) and then go home and have dinner with his/her wife/husband and kids.

On the negative side, many say, is that it depersonalizes war to be able to kill the enemy without risk to oneself. It is dirty warfare.

I should note that any military advance we make we can expect to be used by an enemy on future days. It's been true of every military advance. Most recently stealth technology is being matched or improved upon by other countries, so perhaps we should use any advantage we have as long as we have it, using that experience to develop countermeasures.

What do you think?

Tags: drone, ethics, military, warfare

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Some day an enemy drone will be launched from say northern Mexico and fly into the US and do some dirty work. A sobering thought huh.

Absolutely. Every technology that comes along becomes weaponized if it has possibilities. As far as I know the production of Sucralose (Splenda) hasn't been weaponized yet, but you can be sure someone has/is/will look at it.

But the fact that it will happen to us eventually is as much an argument FOR doing it as against. Why not be the first and then try to stay ahead with both the technology and the defenses against it?

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