The military use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles
Between protection of soldiers and targeted killing
The use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) introduced a new era of robotic warfare. Against this background, this article examines whether and to what extent the military use of armed UAVs can be legitimated, focusing on the German debate. More precisely, the military use of armed UAVs is analyzed from an ethical point of view in the field of tension between protecting soldiers on the one hand and targeted killing on the other hand. We argue that the use of armed UAVs is alarming, because the protection of a country’s own soldiers might be improved by using this technology, however, at an increased danger for life and limb of the enemy’s soldiers.
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