Drone Warfare: Ethical Controversies and Voices of Experience




Gostomski, Samuel

Access rights

Worldwide access

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or ‘drones’ has drastically increased in the last two decades. That increase has been accompanied by a rise in anxiety – both among the general public and military ethicists – about the ethical challenges that arise with the use of these weapons. In this thesis, I explore these ethical controversies both by reviewing existing literature and offering my own analysis of the issues. Following my initial survey, I conclude by putting the ethical issues I identify in conversation with my proprietary interviews with members of the U.S. Army and Air Force. Accordingly, this thesis is a combination of exclusive interviews I obtained as part of my research, which are included as transcripts, and a survey and detailed exploration of the ethical issues that arise with the use of ‘drones’ in warfare.



Ethics, Just War Theory, Military Ethics, Drones, Unmanned Vehicles