Just because you can, doesn’t mean you ought
An interesting article by John Kaag and Sarah Kreps on the moral hazard that the use of drone strikes poses and how in the debate on their use there arises a confusion of the facts with value. To say that drone strikes are effective and near consequence free, at least for the perpetrator, does not equate to the conclusion that they are ethical and that we should carry them out. Nor does the capability to safely attack with focused lethality mean that we will in fact make better ethical decisions. The moral hazard that Kaag and Krep assert is that the technological ease of use can end up becoming the justification for it’s use. My prediction is that with the increasing automation, and increasing psychological distancing that comes with it, of what the military calls the kill chain this propensity will inevitably increase. Herman Kahn is probably smiling now, wherever he is.