1st Edition

Contemporary Technologies and the Morality of Warfare The War of the Machines

By Jean-François Caron Copyright 2020
    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    Supported by genuine historical cases, this book argues that certain new technologies in warfare can not only be justified within the current framework of the just war theory, but that their use is mandatory from a moral perspective.

    Technological developments raise questions about the manner in which wars ought to be fought. The growing use of drones, capacity-increasing technologies, and cyberattacks are perceived by many as posing great challenges to Just War Theory. Instead of seeing these technologies as inherently unethical, this book adopts a different perspective by arguing that they are morally necessary since they can limit the potential violations of the moral rules of war and ensure that militaries better respect their obligation to protect their members. Caron’s research offers insights into how and under what conditions autonomous or semi-autonomous robots, artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, and capacityincreasing technologies can be considered as legitimate weapons.

    This book will be of interest to students, members of the armed forces, and scholars studying Politics, International Relations, Security Studies, Ethics, and Just War Theory.


    Chapter 1: The Nature of Current Military Technological Innovations

    Capacity-Increasing Technologies

    Semi-Autonomous and Autonomous Technologies


    Chapter 2: Technologies and the Military’s Duty of Care

    The Military as a Profession

    The Military Profession and the Duty of Care

    Military Technologies and the Duty of Care

    Chapter 3: The Use of Military Technologies as a Way to Increase Morality

    The USS Vincennes and the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655

    The 1994 Black Hawk Shootdown Incident in Northern Iraq

    The My Lai and Haditha Massacres

    Military Technologies and the Control of Human Emotions

    Chapter 4: Military Technologies, Respect for the Rules of Warfare, and Legal Accountability

    The Question of Misused Technologies

    Technologies and Individual Responsibilities

    How Technologies Involving Human Beings Ought to be Tested

    Chapter 5: The Morality of Killing

    The Ethics of Killing in War

    Contemporary Military Technologies and the Ethics of Killing in War: An Assessment

    Chapter 6: Technologies and the Enhanced Risk of Warfare

    The Correlation Between Military Power and the Risk of War

    Military Technologies and the Prospect of Jus ad Vim



    Jean-François Caron is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, where he teaches Political Theory. He is also a teaching and a research fellow at the Institute of Political Science and Administration at the University of Opole, Poland.