Robot Soldiers’ Targeted Killing
Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a sixteen-years-old boy, was a third American killed by CIA drone strikes in Yemen while searching for his father, Anwar al-Awlaki, also an American citizen, who had been killed in a U.S. drone strike (Finn and Browning). Although drones kill not only terrorists but also innocent civilians including children like Abdulrahman, many drone strikes have been made to Pakistan between the year of 2004 and 2012. This is because the United States military successfully kills targeted enemies without losing a soldier by using drones. However, civilians living near the targeted area are killed by the drones as killer drones can’t accurately focus on the enemies. Therefore, the military’s use of drones for targeted killing is immoral although drones are useful for other purposes. THE PURPOSES OF USING DRONES
As drone technology is evolved, different types of drones are available to be used in the military and homeland security. Police officers use drones for surveillance and law enforcement purposes. For example, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are used as surveillance units for drug trafficking activities along U.S.-Mexico border. Moreover, Dragon Flyer X6, a tiny UAV equipped with wireless cameras and variety of sensors, is used by the police officers in Canada to collect evidence and survey crime scenes (Lee). As the drones are not armed, the drones can kill neither criminals nor civilians. Similarly, the military also use drones in combat, invasion and surveillance. Drones are used for tasks which are dangerous for a soldier to perform. Different types of drones are used for different purposes in the military. For instance, “The MQ-1B predator (formerly called the RQ-1 predator) was originally designed as an aircraft for intelligence-gathering, surveillance and identifying target and reconnaissance” (“Drones: What are”). Therefore, the predator drones are useful for locating enemy’s bases and spying the enemy’s activities at the base. Before the evolution of drones, the government sent a human spy to collect the information of terrorists to the enemies’ camp. If the terrorists found out the spy, the spy was killed or tortured to dead. Now, the government eliminates the risk by replacing the human spy with the drone. Moreover, MQ-9 Reapers armed with “Hellfire missiles and laser guided bomb such as Paveway II and GBU-12” are designed for targeted killing (“Drones: What are”). Thus, human assassins can be replaced by the Reaper drones so that the assassins will not be killed by the enemies. In fact, both Predator and Reaper drones are currently used in Afghanistan and Pakistan according to the report by BBC news (). Although the government can eliminate the terrorists without losing any soldiers by using the drones, the killer drones accidentally kill civilians while trying to eliminate the targeted victims. When drones kill many innocent people and children whenever the drones try to eliminate enemies, the use of drones for targeted killing become immoral. In addition, K-MAX pilotless helicopters are designed to transport the items and supplies for the military base located at the places where “frequent roadside bombs threaten access by road convoy” (“Unmanned helicopters ferry”). Thus, the number of roadside-bomb casualties can be reduced by using the pilotless helicopters instead of convoys to transport the supply to the base. In fact, Maj. Kyle O’Conner, the officer in charge of detachment, said that the drones have transported almost 18 tons of cargo, such as ready-made foods and items needed for operating bases, for “20 transport missions since the inaugural flight on December 17” (“Unmanned helicopters ferry”). Commonly, drones used for the military are armed although some of them are designed for surveillance or transportation. They are controlled from a command center in the military base through satellite. “The base may...
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