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Killing by Remote ControlThe Ethics of an Unmanned Military$
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Bradley Jay Strawser

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926121.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Robot Guardians: Teleoperated Combat Vehicles in Humanitarian Military Intervention

Robot Guardians: Teleoperated Combat Vehicles in Humanitarian Military Intervention

(p.106) 6 Robot Guardians: Teleoperated Combat Vehicles in Humanitarian Military Intervention
Killing by Remote Control

Zack Beauchamp

Julian Savulescu

Oxford University Press

Perhaps the most common criticism of teleoperated combat vehicles is that they make war more likely by reducing the associated costs. However, it is not as obvious as is usually presumed that this would be a bad thing: it could as easily be case that drones enable just wars as unjust ones. This chapter advances a version of this argument specific to humanitarian military intervention, holding that, if the claim that drones “lower the threshold” to war is true, drones are likely to significantly improve the practice of intervention to stop genocide and other mass atrocities. In particular, the internal logic of the “lowering the threshold” argument suggests that drones will not only make intervention more likely in cases where it is warranted, but that they will significantly reduce the civilian casualty count during interventions.

Keywords:   teleoperated combat vehicles, just wars, humanitarian interventions, unjust wars, genocide, mass atrocities, civilian casualties

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