The history of modern weaponry involves the construction of the technological capacity to produce lethal results while exposing the operator to the least amount of risk of death or injury. The most recent examples of this phenomenon are three new weapon categories: remotely piloted vehicles (drones), cyber-weapons, and Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS). This chapter seeks to put these technological developments in historical context and will investigate the moral and legal consequences of every belligerent’s desire to reduce risk while maximizing lethality. In short, this chapter will investigate whether reciprocal risk is an essential component of ethical and lawful warfare, whether the technological capacity to produce asymmetrical risk through remoteness is historically novel or continuous, and whether recent advances on that front should be celebrated or criticized.
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