Dr. S. Krishnan
Assistant Professor, Seedling School of Law and Governance
Jaipur National University,Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Title of presentation: Ethics of Drone Warfare
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, aka ‘drone’, is increasingly the weapon of choice in America’s military operations. Moral ambiguity about U.S. drone policy arises from the gray area between law enforcement and warfare. The “law enforcement” approach seeks to foresee threats and retaliate for attacks. It polices and reacts within the traditional model of defense and war. On the other hand, a “war against terror” has no endpoint, and its theater of operations is everywhere on earth. These aircraft are the equivalent of the robotic armies discussed in so many science fiction novels. While indeed drones do a great justice by protecting the lives of countrymen and preventing the unnecessary loss of thousands of soldiers’ lives, the long-term impact of this approach is not yet well understood. Popular culture uses terms like “Convenient Killing”, “Death by Remote Control”, “PlayStation Mentality” and “Death Machine” to describe these drones. Such a fight requires flexibility and reach, beyond the traditional parameters of war. And so the strongest ethical argument in favor of drone strikes boils down to efficiency. The virtues of U.S. drone policy include precision targeting, limited collateral damage, and preventing troops from going into full combat mode and being killed. But each of these virtues has its limits. We know of targeting errors, tragic accounts of unintentional killing of innocent bystanders, and the fear that drones turn foreign public opinion against the United States. When the stakes are so high, is the efficiency argument good enough? Of particular ethical concern are the questions of due process and accountability. Who makes decisions about who the targets will be and whether to execute a strike? What is the procedure and the oversight for those calls? Again we see blurred lines.
Dr.S.Krishnan is an Assistant Professor in Seedling School of Law and Governance, Jaipur National University, Jaipur, Rajasthan. He had worked as an Assistant Professor in History in Apex Professional University, Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh. He has 3 ½ years teaching experience. He had also worked as a Journalist for about 5 years in esteemed newspapers like Indian Express and Daily News Analysis, online newsportals and a magazine in Gujarat. And he worked as a Liaison Officer in Indian Society of International Law, New Delhi in 2013. The writer has 55 articles (41 National + 14 International) in the journals and 481 Journalist Reports. He did his Ph.D. from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, Gujarat. His Ph.D Thesis was on “U.S.-NATO Relations: A Study of Changing U.S. Security Perceptions Since 1949”. The topic covered the historical evolution of NATO, and its coming to terms with the Post-Cold War world. It devoted some attention to NATO’s missions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. The thesis endeavored to look at NATO in terms of the changing U.S. Security interests through the Cold War and in the post-Cold War era, including its role in post-September 11th terrorist attacks. His areas of specialization include: Modern Indian History, History of the United States and U.S. Foreign Policy, Strategic Studies, International Relations, History of Europe, History of China and Japan and Mass Media and Journalism.