Ethical Use of drone technology

Argument paper over the use of drone technology.

My controversy is: Military drone technology development and use.
How did you decide upon/Why did you choose this topic: Because while I support the development of further military technology, the fact that these same technologies could be used against the United States by either an enemy or its own government is a valid point of concern. I donâ€t feel the American public should be worried, with the advancement of technology it is far easier to hack into your smart tv or cell phone to spy on you. So, the use of military drones spying on American civilians I feel isnâ€t a major concern but, our enemies using drones against us is.
Before I began my research, my belief was: Fully supporting the development of further drone technologies whether it is targeting, stealth or weapons based technological advancements.
5.The 3 most important things I learned from my research was:

The proper use and implementation of the technology contained within drones and drones themselves is very capable of being an ethical solution to modern day warfare.
The indiscriminate use and overuse of drones has led to many questioning the reliability and accountability for the number of drone strikes verses the non-hostile casualty count.
Drone technology is no longer a United States specific technology. Many other nations use drones the very same way the United States does. Even the enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan have started to use drones against the United States.

6.What are the different sides in the controversy: The two sides are clear cut, one side supports the constant development of drones whether it is referencing airframes, targeting/sight computers and aids, or weapons. As well as providing tactical and practical use of the design/technology that can also translate into other advances in technology elsewhere. The alternate side is the issue of indiscriminate use and over use of power by using the drones in war/peace time. Against the enemies of the United States and fear they are/would be used against US citizens. Also, the issue of causing indiscriminate civilian or non-hostile casualties while using the drones.
7.What did you learn about the sides – what differentiates them:
8.My point of view changed/didnâ€t change because – Now I believe: My point of view did not change, now I believe the further advancement of drone technologies and practical application of the technology is vital to the overall security of the United States.
9.My draft argument for my research paper is: Proper use of drone technology is an ethical solution to modern day warfare.
10.Annotated bibliography:

First source stance: Drone strikes remain a necessary instrument of counterterrorism.

i.Byman, Daniel. “Why Drones Work: The Case for Washingtons Weapon of Choice.” Brookings Institution,, 17 June 2013, Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.
ii.Overall Argument of source: Byman argues the fact that drone strikes are working and still a very real option in warfare despite the perceived side effects of using drones.
iii.First major point: Drone technology can be a force multiplier during warfare, keeping service members away from harm while, providing precision attacks on targets.
iv.Quote: “The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work”.
v.Second MP: The information gathering of after drone strikes proves to be an unreliable means of measuring success rates of drone strikes.
vi.Quote: “Despite the obvious benefits of using drones and the problems associated with the alternatives, numerous critics argue that drones still have too many disadvantages”.
vii.Big take away from the source and what compels you to argue. Bold argument. The obvious benefits from using drones to locate and strike against our enemies in foreign locations. Drone use helps save American service members lives overseas.

Second source stance:

i.Gramer, Robbie. “Afghan Insurgents Use Drones In Fight Against U.S.” Foreign Policy,, 13 January 2017, Accessed 19 September 2017.
ii.Overall Argument of source: Gramer argues the fact that non-friendly drones are becoming more and more of a problem in Afghanistan. Primarily used for surveillance of American forces, has now turned to attacks against American forces.
iii.First major point: Drones are being used by more and more nations for varying reasons.
iv.Quote: “NATO no longer has a monopoly on drones on the battlefields of Afghanistan.”
v.Second MP: The use of non-hostile drones has ranged from surveillance to attacks.
vi.Quote: “But whatâ€s more worrying is the possibility of insurgents arming drones with bombs — and itâ€s already happening in Iraq and Syria.”
vii.Big take away from the source and what compels you to argue. Bold argument. Although the article primarily shows the possible use of non-hostile drones against the United States, it also points out my argument. Development of counter-drone technology is imperative to combating the non-hostile drone threat.

Third source stance:

i.McNeal, Gregory. “Drones and Aerial Surveillance: Considerations for Legislatures.” Brookings Institution,, November 2014, Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.
ii.Overall Argument of source: Legal and ethical use of drones.
iii.First major point: The threat of U.S. drones being used on its own civilians has led to Laws which protect against illegal surveillance.
iv.Quote: “To counter the threat of surveillance, privacy advocates have focused solely on requiring warrants before the use of drones by law enforcement.”
v.Second MP: Law Enforcement utilizing standard aircraft are subject to FAA rules on “public navigable airspace”, under the current wording, drones are not subject to the same FAA ruling.
vi.Quote: “Thus, drones are poised to disrupt settled Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, by operating in airspace which heretofore has not been the subject of case law or statutes.”
vii.Big take away from the source and what compels you to argue. Bold argument. My big take away from this source is that drone technology could be used for surveillance of American citizens forcing us into an Orwellian type government. My argument is laws regarding the use of non-recreational drones must be clear and concise and accepted by the public.

Fourth source stance:

i.Plaw A., Fricker M., Williams B., et al. “Practice Makes Perfect?: The Changing Civilian Toll of CIA Drone Strikes in Pakistan.” Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 5, 51-6, Terrorism Research Initiative, December 2011,… pp. 51-69. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.
ii.Overall Argument of source: The authors argue the fact that drone strikes are becoming more precise by using data collected over the past 10 years of drone use and strikes, accuracy and non-hostile casualties associated with the strikes.
iii.First major point: Due to the advances in drone technology and success rates of strikes, drone use may not see an end soon.
iv.Quote: “U.S. officials have, and are likely to retain at least for a time, a powerful case for maintaining or even intensifying the strikes.”
v.Second MP: The use of drone technology still proves to be a far better solution to other means.
vi.Quote: “There is little evidence that the United States has more humane, or even plausible, alternatives for preempting terrorist strikes than relying on remote control drones to kill the enemy in the remote tribal region.”
vii.Big take away from the source and what compels you to argue. Bold argument. My big take away from this source is the argument the author made proving the need and success of drone strikes against enemies. My argument is drone strikes are a precise solution in modern day warfare.

Fifth source stance:

i.Tucker, Patrick. “The Pros and Cons of U.S. Drone Strikes in Iraq.” Defense One, National Journal Group Inc., 13 June 2014, Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.
ii.Overall Argument of source: The author argues that drone use can be used on two different platforms, military and diplomatic means.
iii.First major point: The use of drones in Iraq can save face for both the United States and the Government of Iraq, aiding Iraq without the use of military forces in Iraq.
iv.Quote: “Armed drones may provide the administration with a cosmetic military solution for the ongoing crisis, affording the U.S. the opportunity to look tough and engage ISIS without endangering U.S. troops or creating the impression that we weâ€re re-fighting a war that we declared over in 2011.”
v.Second MP: Drone strikes may not be a viable option in Iraqi against current enemy forces.
vi.Quote: “Too much ground has been lost, the enemy has grown too large, and available support from the Maliki government is too absent for armed drones to be a decisive weapon against angry hordes.”
vii.Big take away from the source and what compels you to argue. Bold argument. The big take away from the source is that drone strikes while being technologically advanced, still have limitations. My argument is drone use can be used to effectively gain intelligence, not just conduct strikes.

Drones: Practical and Ethical Solutions
Modern day military actions show the gradual and continued use of drones throughout military campaigns overseas with varying levels of success. Drones can provide a better overall surveillance of threats, locations or situations verses using troops on the ground. While providing a low-risk solution to military actions and in some cases, ending conflict before troops are deployed. These drones not only provide better situational awareness but also provide it in real time which gives military leaders more information to make better decisions. But, with the growing private and public use of commercial dronesâ€, citizens across the United States are concerned about privacy in their homes. Antiquated Federal Aviation Authority ruling proves to be a grey area for drone use and needs improvement to safeguard against misuse of drones in American airspace. Practical application of drone technology is vital to the overall security of the United States; alternatively, proper use of drone technology is an ethical solution to modern day warfare.
Practical use of drones overseas provides better search, surveillance and strike capabilities to the military commander. Drone technology has advanced so much that modern day conflicts can be fought from outside of the war zone. The use of drones to provide surveillance of targets, locations and arising situations removes the service member from being on scene and in danger. Daniel Byman states that: “by killing key leaders and denying terrorists sanctuaries in Pakistan, Yemen, and, to a lesser degree, Somalia, drones have devastated al Qaeda and associated anti-American militant groups. And they have done so at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused”. Drone use provides the end user the ability to remain hidden and observe until action is needed and taken. Not all drones are used as a weapons platform though, some provide strictly surveillance abilities far better than any service member on the ground could. This is due to their advanced camera systems and ability to transmit data worldwide in real time. Coupled with the ability to remain in the air for hours at a time, provides a substantial force multiplier for our military leaders and decision makers.
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