On Killing Remotely Summary
A “can’t-miss for anyone interested in current military affairs,” On Killing Remotely reveals and explores the costs—to individual soldiers and to society—of the way we wage war today (Kirkus Reviews, starred).
Throughout history society has determined specific rules of engagement between adversaries in armed conflict. With advances in technology, from armor to in the Middle Ages to nerve gas in World War I to weapons of mass destruction in our own time, the rules have constantly evolved. Today, when killing the enemy can seem palpably risk-free and tantamount to playing a violent video game, what constitutes warfare? What is the effect of remote combat on individual soldiers? And what are the unforeseen repercussions that could affect us all?
Lt Col Wayne Phelps, former commander of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft unit, addresses these questions and many others as he tells the story of the men and women of today’s “chair force.” Exploring the ethics of remote military engagement, the misconceptions about PTSD among RPA operators, and the specter of military weaponry controlled by robots, his book is an urgent and compelling reminder that it should always be difficult to kill another human being lest we risk losing what makes us human.
About the Author
Lt Col Kenneth Wayne Phelps (USMC, Retired) served five deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2012. His military career coincided with the escalating use of drones as weapons, and in the two years prior to his retirement in 2018 he served as commanding officer of four Unmanned Aircraft System teams abroad to fight violent extremist organizations.
Read more about: Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Phelps