Like a sniper? How about missiles or bombs deployed against ground targets?srothstein wrote: ↑Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:39 pmI understand your point about the ethics of it, though I personally disagree. Of course, ethics and morals are always a personal option to be decided individually. I find an ethical difference in killing someone in open combat as opposed to a hidden attack from which he cannot defend effectively.Gator Guy wrote: ↑Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:38 amOn the other hand, I'm not so opposed to assassination as an instrument of foreign policy, the same as waging war. If it's moral to kill front line troops, then it's moral to kill military commanders. It's more effective to target and kill a military commander than the troops he commands. It's also ethically superior if the troops are conscripts and would rather be home with their families. This also applies to political leaders who declare war or exert control over the military. Killing them is more bang for the buck than killing a grunt, and at worst ethically equivalent, despite what those politicians want us to believe.
If a politician or military commander authorizes the use of those technologies, against opponents who don't have the means to counter them, he has no moral high ground if he's likewise a target of a "hidden attack from which he cannot defend effectively."
If we use snipers to kill "high value targets" by surprise, we can hardly complain it's unfair or unethical for our opponents do the same.
If we use UAV/RMA to deliver missiles or bombs, we can hardly call our opponents cowards for using IED, when that's the technology they have.
The United States killed Osama bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks, even though he wasn't on those airplanes. How can a US politician or military commander object to the morality or ethics of being targeted by somebody whose tribesmen were killed, just because he didn't push the button or pull the trigger?
I'm not defending the 9/11 terrorist attacks or saying OBL was innocent. Not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I agree the man who makes the decision to kill others is responsible for that decision, even if he delegates the dirty work. However, I think that's a standard that cuts both directions.