Since the beginning of armed conflict, humanity has looked for ways to improve its ability to wage war. The progression of technology has provided militaries, most notably that of the United States, with a myriad of strategic and tactical advantages, and with it, the advent of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The integration of the UAV into the battle space, however, has not come without controversy. The notion of a platform that divorces militaries and governments from the reality of war and challenges the ethics of full autonomy is cause for concern. The Fire Scout, a UAV newly adopted by the U.S. Navy, does not stray from this controversy, but rather, adds to the ethical dilemmas that challenge our military forces today.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Ethics
Commander William Earl Fannin, Class of 1945, Capstone Essay ContestUAVs take humans out of the battle zone-but when it comes to decision-making, don't leave it to the machines.
By Ensign Rique Sanchez, U.S. Navy