Is the Military Use of Drones Ethically Defensible?
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Drones are one of the most controversial weapons currently employed by the US military. Despite their precise targeting capabilities, they have been heavily criticized for enabling civilian casualties, and their legality has been questioned both domestically and abroad. Michael Walzer, an expert on just war theory and the ethical use of force, discussed the history of targeted killings and assassinations, including the moral arguments for and against these actions. He focused on how the invention of the drone changes these moral arguments and will raise critiques of a qualified defense of using drones—putting forward an invitation to worry.
As a professor, author, editor, and lecturer, Michael Walzer has addressed a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy: political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice and the welfare state. His books (among them Just and Unjust Wars, Spheres of Justice, The Company of Critics, Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad, and On Toleration) and essays have played a part in the revival of practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. Walzer is Professor Emeritus of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ as well as a contributing editor for "The New Republic," and co-editor of "Dissent," now in its 56th year. He is currently working on the history and prospects of national liberation and also on the third volume of The Jewish Political Tradition, a comprehensive collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought.