Combat Drones – Killing Drones: A Plea against Flying Robots
This 8-page publication was issued in German in December 2012 and in English in February 2013. SWP held a seminar on “Unmanned military systems: The challenges to arms control and warfare” in Berlin in May 2013.
Medium altitude, long endurance drones are becoming a component of regular air forces. However, the extent to which manned aircraft are being replaced by such “MALE UAVs” (MALE = Medium Altitude, Long Endurance, UAV = Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) remains unclear.
At present Germany is faced with determining with what means the Luftwaffe should be equipped in the medium term (up to 2020) and longterm (post-2020).
This publication can be found on the SWP website here.
[N]o fundamental debate has so far taken place about what the ethical consequences are of the trend towards automated combat. Such a debate is now overdue and urgent, as the momentum of technological development conceals the danger that human beings may abdicate moral responsibility in decisions over the use of force.