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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.

Marcel Dickow and Hilmar Linnenkamp for the German Institute for

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