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Jordan Castagno

Phil 1250, Sp 2016


March 18, 2016
Signature Assignment

Argument Analysis
Is drone warfare justifiable?
A huge question today that is quit hard to answer is should drone warfare be allowed in
war or is it even justifiable in war? The reason that this is a question worth answering is because
some countries are taking advantage of smaller countries who cannot afford drones of their own.
One country that I am aware of is Pakistan; Pakistan is being taken advantage of by larger
countries with drones. Others argue that risking a machine instead of a human life is better. In
this paper I will analyze an argument that is made to justify the use of drone warfare. I will
diagram the argument and state warrants for some of the sub-premises. I will also give a
response to the paper.
Steps of Argument Analysis
Issue: Is Drone Warfare justifiable?
Conclusion I am analyzing: It is justifiable.
Burden of proof:
The question of who has the more need to prove their argument falls to the people who
say that it is not justifiable. The reason that it falls to the people who are against drone warfare is
because countries are already using some drones in war right now so they would need to prove
why something is wrong that is already being done. It will be like saying that the government
made a bad decision so they would need to have a lot of information and facts that prove the
country wrong. So the one who argues that drone warfare is not justifiable has more burden of
proof.

Major Outline of Argument


Conclusion: Drone warfare is justifiable.
Major premises:
1. Drones are more economically beneficial than war planes.
A. They cost less than manned fighters and bombers.
B. Drones create more jobs and lessen the need for soldiers to be on the battle field
C. More people handle one mission which breaks up the stress and monoto
2. Provides technological advances and greater ways to wage war.
3. Drone warfare is much less psychologically harmful to the operator.

Argument diagram
Drone
warfare is
justifiable

Drones are
more
economically
beneficial
than war
planes

They cost
less than
manned
fighters and
bombers

Drones
create more
jobs and
lessen the
need for
soldiers to
be on the

Drone
warfare is
much less
psychologicall
y harmful to

Provides
technological
advances and
greater ways
to wage war

More
people
handle one
mission
which
breaks up
the stress

Promotes
humanitaria
n warfare

Reduc
es
human
capital

Changes
how wars
function
and are won

Drone operators
experience less
stress than
soldiers in the

Changes the
rules that
govern
internationa
l conflict

Drone operators
have a lower risk
of being
diagnosed with

More Detailed Argument Diagrams for each Major Premise


Plus my analysis and my response

Premise one
Drone
warfare is
justifiable

Drones are
more
economically
beneficial
than war

They cost
less than
manned
fighters and

Drones
create more
jobs and
lessen the
need for
soldiers to be
on the battle

More people
handle one
mission which
breaks up the
stress and
monotony

My critique of the major premise including their warrants


The Major sub premise that drones are more economically beneficial is a factual statement so
there are no warrants for the major premise.
The warrants are also very factual and they have evidence along with common sense to back
them so I cannot see anything wrong with the way that the writer supported their claims.

Premise two
Drone
warfare is
justifiable

Provides
technological
advances and
greater ways
to wage war

Promotes
humanitari
an warfare

Very inaccurate
which causes
unnecessary
capital loss

Reduc
es
human
capital

Changes
how wars
function

Changes the
rules that
govern
international
conflict

My critique of the major premise including their warrants


I agree with the major sub premise that drones will bring on technological advances as well as
greater strategies to wage war with.
The warrant that I have an issue with is the one that states that it will reduce human capital loss.
It may reduce the loss on the side that is in possession of the drones but it will not reduce it on
the other side. Drones are inaccurate and can cause great human capital loss because of their
inaccuracy. The rest of the warrants I agree with because if people started using drones in war
there would need to be more rules with their use.

Premise three
Drone
warfare
is

Drone
warfare is
much less
psychological
ly harmful to

Drone
operators
experience
less stress
than
soldiers in

Drone
operators
have a lower
risk of being
diagnosed
with PTSD

Still has some


effects on the
operator of
the drone just
like a soldier

My critique of the major premise including their warrants


The major sub premise in this statement is true and has been proven by facts given in the paper;
however there are still many similarities between drone operators and soldiers in the field.
The warrants in this paper were contradicted by some of the other facts that were given in the
same paper. A statement that was made in the paper was that the soldier operating the drone does
not become numb to killing and that he is still aware of what he is doing. That statement proves
that Drone warfare still has the same effects on the soldiers.

Is Drone Warfare Justifiable?

Bozton
Drone warfare has become a widespread debate in recent times as well developed
countries have started to use drones more and more. The debate is whether the use of drones is
justifiable for use in war, the answer is an undoubtedly yes! Drones are more economically
beneficial than war planes. They cost less than manned fighters and bomber planes: some of
the cheapest war planes cost $20 million while a drone typically costs between $5 and $13
million. The running cost for a predator is $1,500 per flight hour while that of a fighter plane
ranges from $32,000 to $44,000 per flight hour. Drones create more jobs while lessening the
need for sliders to physically be on the battlefield. While traditional war planes are limited to a
single crew running them during any particular mission drones can switch between multiple
crews in a single mission breaking the stress and monotony of controlling it. Along with that,
each drone crew consists of about a dozen members each specializing in a specific area of
running the drone. Drones are very economically beneficial as opposed to war planes but they
also have many other benefits in the regards to advancing technology.

Cameron Vernon
With the advent of technology, it has provided a greater way to wage war and gain
advantage over the enemy. But when used properly, it can shorten conflicts, mitigate loss of life,
and even deter war altogether promoting humanitarian warfare. Drones provide such benefits
as they reduce human capital lost to war and conflict but to do so requires a change to the our
concepts of war and also for terms, laws, and policies to be redefined. Left unchecked it may
escalate conflict to prolonged devastation and without proper structures to control and arbitrate
(Brooks), you are looking at little more than a covert execution unit (Bowden).
As war is, justified or otherwise, death and casualties are inextricably tied to all parties
involved. With the use of drones fewer deaths need be incurred as combat is taken from open

war to precision strikes. Alongside this, death dealing takes on a more tactical approach with
only enemy leaders or important figures being necessary targets (K.).
Even as drones are assimilated into the idea of war, there will be a change to how wars
function, are perceived, and won. Drones provide the ability to act with increasing immediacy,
lethal accuracy, and are fit for clandestine missions. These same characteristics spawn questions
into the legality and ethics of the use of drones. It is appropriate to incorporate them so as to
establish grounds for the use and control of drones, since we currently have no laws that address
them. The ethics of drone usage boils down to how long you want a conflict to last and how
many are to die, as all parties want the advantage (Bowden) and the shortest conflict.
It becomes required, as the idea of warfare changes, to therefore change the rules that
govern international conflict. Use of drones challenges the meaning of these shared laws and
terms, demanding either a universal adoption of new legislation or a reaffirmation of present law.
Even at present, there needs to be a judiciary power capable of enforcing these laws and a
means of limited interpretation so as to allow nations of conflicting legal systems to coexist
(Brooks). Without this in place, drones simply become discretionary tools of execution for the
powerful. Yet the question remains: how does drone warfare affect a soldiers spirit?

Taylor
In 2012, a research experiment was conducted by the Chief of Aerospace Psychology,
Wayne Chappelle. During his research he found that drone operators were experiencing real
reactions such as elevated heart rate and increases in adrenaline, giving them the same level of
awareness as soldiers in the field. Some often say that the act of such remote killings can
cause the operator to become desensitized. However, Chappelle also stated that the operators
have never shown any indication that they have become numb to the act of killing. In short; The
reality of what they are doing has always been clear to them. Furthermore, Drone operators

experience less stress than soldiers in the field. The constant threat of death is unknown to
most drone operators, because they are able to work from the safety of a United States office
building. They are also able to go home to their families after a long day at work. These relaxing
breaks from work have shown to reduce stress as compared to the soldiers who are always in the
field. Drone operators also have a lower risk of being diagnosed with PTSD. Based on an Air
Force health screening, less than 4% of drone operators are at risk of developing PTSD, while
the average field soldier has a 12%-14% chance of development. From looking at all the
information provided, its clear that Drone Warfare is much less psychologically harmful to
the operator.

References
Atherton, Kelsey D. AIR FORCE WANTS CHEAP ATTACK DRONES IT CAN LOSE IN WAR. 5
June 2015. 25 Feb 2016. <http://www.popsci.com/air-force-wants-cheap-attack-drones-itcan-lose-war>.
Bender, Jeremy. This Chart Shows The Staggering Hourly Cost Of Operating US Military
Aircraft. 30 Dec 2014. 25 Feb 2016. <http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-showshourly-cost-of-military-aircraft-2014-12>.
Bergqvist, Pia. Drone Jobs: What It Takes to Fly a UAV. 16 Jun 2014. 28 Feb 2016.
<http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/drone-jobs-what-it-takes-fly-uav>.
Bowden, Mark. "The Killing Machines." September 2013. The Atlantic. Document. 9 February
2016.
Brooks, Rosa. "Drones and the International Rule of Law." Roundtable: The International Rule
of Law (2013): 83-103. Document. 9 February 2016.
K., K. "Fallout Reaches the Ivory Tower." 22 April 2015. The Economist. Document. 9 February
2016.
Blaszczak, By Agata. "Drone Pilots Suffer PTSD Just Like Those in Combat." LiveScience.
TechMedia Network, 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.