Targeted killing with drones? Old arguments, new technologies

Translated title of the contribution: Targeted killing with drones? Old arguments, new technologies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The question of how to contend with terrorism in keeping with our preexisting moral and legal commitments now challenges Europe as well as Israel and the United States: how do we apply Just War Theory and International Law to asymmetrical warfare, specifically to our counter terrorism measures? What can the classic moral argument in Just and Unjust Wars teach us about contemporary targeted killings with drones? I begin with a defense of targeted killing, arguing for the advantages of pin pointed attacks over any alternative measure available for combatting terrorism. Assuming the legitimacy of killing combatants in wartime, I argue, there is nothing wrong, and in fact much that is right, with targeting particular terrorists selected by name, as long as their assassinations can be reasonably expected to reduce terrorist hostilities rather than increase it. Subsequently, I offer some further thoughts and comments on the use of remotely piloted aircrafts to carry out targeted killings, and address the various sources for discomfort with this practice identified by Michael Walzer and others.

Translated title of the contributionTargeted killing with drones? Old arguments, new technologies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalFilozofija i Drustvo
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Asymmetrical warfare
  • Drons
  • Justification
  • Targeted killing
  • Terrorism

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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