Drone Wars Library – Ethics

| Autonomy | Civil use of drones | Civilian casualties | Drone pilots | Ethical issues | General overview |
| Israel and drones | Proliferation | Targeted Killing and Legal Issues | UK drone operations | US drone operations |

Ethics of drone war

ethicsProponents of the use of armed drones often argue there is no moral or ethical difference between unmanned and manned systems, arguing that only those who object to the use of force itself can have any ethical issues with the use of drones. But that is to ignore the way that drones are ‘lowering the threshold’ when it comes to using lethal force and the push towards autonomy.


Key documents and articles

Sept 2014 Drones and the Democracy Disconnect Do drones exacerbate the disconnect between us and the wars waged in our name?
Feb 2014 Statement on use of drones and denial of the right to life Use of armed drones condemned by World Council of Churches
Nov 2013 The Ethics of Armed Unmanned Aircraft The ethical perspective  from the ‘pro-drone’ Royal Aeronautical Society
Nov 2013 Letter from Vatican Permanent Representative to UN Vatican raises concerns about use of drones and killer robots
May 2013 US Bishops letter on drones US Catholic Bishops letter questioning ethics of drone warfare
Jan 2013 Controversial Contrails: The Costs of Remotely Piloted Foreign Policy Serving USAF officer questions ethics of remote warfare in Joint Forces Quarterly
Aug 2012 Obama’s Drone Wars: A Case to Answer Does the use of drones fit with Just War Theory?
May 2012 Drones: Ethical Dilemmas in the Application of Military Force UK Methodist, Baptist and URC Churches report on ethical issue of using drones for targeted killing
Mar 2011 Does Unmanned Make Unacceptable? Exploring the Debate on using Drones and Robots in Warfare Pax Christi International explores ethics of drone warfare
Apr 2008 The Ethics and Legal Implications ofMilitary Unmanned Vehicles RUSI exploration of ethical and legal implications of using unmanned drones


Further information

Drone Wars UK posts tagged Ethics



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