War without virtue?

In Bradley Jay Strawser (ed.), Killing By Remote Control. Oxford University Press. pp. 84-105 (2013)
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A number of recent and influential accounts of military ethics have argued that there exists a distinctive “role morality” for members of the armed services—a “warrior code.” A “good warrior” is a person who cultivates and exercises the “martial” or “warrior” virtues. By transforming combat into a “desk job” that can be conducted from the safety of the home territory of advanced industrial powers without need for physical strength or martial valour, long-range robotic weapons, such as the “Predator” and “Reaper” drones fielded by the United States, call the relevance of the “martial virtues” into question. This chapter investigates the implications of these developments for conceptions of military virtue and, consequently, for the future of war.

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Robert Sparrow
Monash University


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