An author with unique credentials of moral philosopher, Predator pilot, and Air Force officer probes the burning issue of remote warfare: is it the right thing to do and, if so, why?

In the 21st century, we have come to rely more on remote warfare—drone strikes, targeted killings, and other tactics—to conduct our military business and avoid sending “boots on the ground.” And targeted killings of Iranian high government official General Qasem Soleimani and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki have caused international outrage. Air Force Officer Joseph Chapa, who also has a doctorate in moral philosophy, takes a big step back and considers the most fundamental question: is it the right thing to do—and if so, why?
Chapa considers important moral issues such as:
  • What justifies military violence? Is it just risk? Is it the defense of others?
  • What are the implications of the distance between war and warfighter on questions about courage, loyalty, and military honor?
  • How does remote warfare relate to what we often think of as traditional warfare?
  • What principles should we use to evaluate its morality, especially as the crew applies human judgment in a morally complex combat environment?
We are at a historical inflection point as leading military powers are increasing the use of remote weapons, broadening the scope of targeted killing operations, and turning to artificial intelligence to control their weapons systems. Is Remote Warfare Moral? is an essential read to deal with the complexities of the future of war.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


“Chapa’s firsthand experience gives his philosophical conclusions weight… a well-informed study.”—Publishers Weekly
“[E]ven those who have already made up their minds about the morality of war will find a challenging examination of questions to which we are still developing answers…A hard-nosed look at the morality of drone warfare from a writer who has seen it close-up.”—Kirkus
Read More Read Less