The Doubtful Ethics of Drone Warfare by @FrankPasquale

“A Theory of the Drone is, at its core, a contribution to political theory, raising concerns too often elided in both legal academics’ treatment of drones and computer-science departments’ angling for Defense Department grants. At present we have no reliable sense of whether U.S. drone strikes are guaranteeing security or temporarily disabling some bad actors while enraging a generation subject to an aerial version of foreign occupation. Is the war futurists’ dream — a persistent Pax Americana underwritten by insuperable technological advantage — actually possible, or one more marketing campaign from wealthy defense contractors? Mired in ignorance, we would do well to challenge our present drift toward hyper-technologized foreign policy.
As Andrew Bacevich has argued, maturely grappling with the need for cooperation in an unmasterable world is a viable alternative to arms races. At present, though, the military-industrial complex is speeding us toward the development of “human out of the loop” drone swarms, ostensibly because only machines will be fast enough to anticipate the enemy’s counterstrategies.”


About dmf

alienist @ large, mostly on foot
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