Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (2):121–133 (2008)

Suzy Killmister
Monash University
The nature of warfare is changing. Increasingly, developments in military technology are removing soldiers from the battlefield, enabling war to be waged from afar. Bombs can be dropped from unmanned drones flying above the range of retaliation. Missiles can be launched, at minimal cost, from ships 200 miles to sea. Micro Air Vehicles, or 'WASPS', will soon be able to lethally attack enemy soldiers. Though still in the developmental stage, progress is rapidly being made towards autonomous weaponry capable of selecting, pursuing, and destroying targets without the necessity for human instruction. These developments have a profound — and as yet under-analysed — impact on just war theory. I argue that a state under attack from remote weaponry is unable to respond in the traditional, just war sanctioned, method of targeting combatants on the battlefield. This restriction of options potentially creates a situation whereby a state is either coerced into surrender, or it must transgress civilian immunity. Just war theory in conditions of remote warfare therefore either serves the interests of the technologically advanced by demanding the surrender of targeted states, or else it becomes redundant.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5930.2008.00400.x
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References found in this work BETA

Killer Robots.Robert Sparrow - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (1):62–77.
Collective Responsibility.Joel Feinberg - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (21):674-688.
Innocence, Self-Defense and Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 1994 - Journal of Political Philosophy 2 (3):193–221.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Problem with Killer Robots.Nathan Gabriel Wood - 2020 - Journal of Military Ethics 19 (3):220-240.
Collateral Damage and the Principle of Due Care.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2014 - Journal of Military Ethics 13 (1):94-105.
Technology as Terrorism: Police Control Technologies and Drone Warfare.Jessica Wolfendale - 2021 - In Scott Robbins, Alastair Reed, Seamus Miller & Adam Henschke (eds.), Counter-Terrorism, Ethics, and Technology: Emerging Challenges At The Frontiers Of Counter-Terrorism,. Springer. pp. 1-21.

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