Martial and moral courage in teleoperated warfare: A commentary on Kirkpatrick

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Jesse Kirkpatrick's 'Drones and the Martial Virtue Courage' constitutes the most thorough attempt to date to show that the operators of remotely piloted aircraft can display martial courage and therefore that it may sometimes be appropriate to award them military honours. I argue that while Kirkpatrick's account usefully draws our attention to the risks faced by drone operators and to the possibility that courage may be required to face these risks, he is much less successful in establishing that operators are capable of cultivating and displaying martial courage. The risks that drone operators face are also faced by members of other professions who are very far from being warriors . (c) 2015 Robert Sparrow.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220 - 227
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Military Ethics: normative aspects of the use of military force
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • courage
  • Drones
  • just war theory
  • moral inquiry
  • vurtue

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