The assignment is to write a short, 850-1000 word, paper on the ethics of using armed/lethal unmanned and, ultimately, autonomous systems and platforms in warfare against humans. We have been criticized by many for our “drone wars” (using ARMED drones to conduct lethal strikes) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere.
How does the physical removal of the human from the local battlefield alter the ethics of warfare, if at all? What about if the lethal systems used are truly autonomous? In answering these questions, briefly discuss the various ethical concerns/consideration, and tell me what you think. Substantiate your opinion with the ethical viewpoints that support your thoughts.
Please do not include a title page, etc. I just want a basic name/date on top, and you may title the paper if you like. The word count begins with your introduction and ends after your conclusion (endnotes do not count). Please ensure your paper falls within the guidance for length. There will be no extra credit for long papers (the opposite may be true).
For a paper to earn an “A”, you will have to demonstrate some critical thinking (see the criteria). Be sure to attribute properly using endnotes or footnotes. Wikipedia is not an appropriate source for papers, but may be used to get some understanding of what is written in the topic, and often provides good sources at the bottom of the Wiki topic webpage. The paper must follow normal academic standards, to include having an introduction, main body, and a conclusion.
You will be evaluated based upon the following criteria.
Context and purpose for writing.
Genre and disciplinary conventions.
Sources and evidence.
Control of syntax and mechanics.
To obtain a perfect score you must show mastery where appropriate in these five areas. A more detailed description of how to accomplish this is contained in the attachment to this syllabus, “Written Communication Value Rubric.”
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