There's an argument about gun control that covers the additional ethical problem of drones:O Really wrote:So if you ride in your weapon carrying aircraft, it's OK, but if you pilot it remotely it's not. Carry that to its logical conclusion and the only available means of killing the enemy is hand-to-hand.
"Handguns are available for self protection in Seattle, but not in nearby Vancouver, Canada; handgun killings are five times more common and the handgun suicide rate is ten times greater in Seattle. Guns make impulsive killing easy."
- Carl Sagan, Demon Haunted World
Drones are cheap compared to F-16s and F-22s. They're FAR cheaper to operate. The drone pilot is FAR cheaper to train. You don't risk a pilot. You don't risk the political fall-out of a pilot being captured.
You don't need all that careful mission planning and choreography ahead of time, since you can loiter in the air all day long waiting for something that looks like a target. Consider the US's first Predator drone murder, back in 2002. Three men in Afghanistan. Murdered because one of them was tall, so obviously he must be Osama Bin Laden.
Drones make impulsive killing easy.