Interesting discussion with USMC LTC (Ret.) Wayne Phelps about his book On Killing Remotely: The Psychology of Killing with Drones. We discuss his military background as a drone operator, war, and his writing.
About the book: Throughout history society has determined specific rules of engagement between adversaries in armed conflict. With advances in technology from armor 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 warriors? And what are the unforeseen repercussions that could affect us all?
LtCol Wayne Phelps, a former commander of a remotely piloted aircraft squadron, addresses these questions and many others as he tells the story of the men and women of today's remote warriors. Exploring the ethics of remote military engagement, the misconceptions about PTSD among RPA operators, and the specter of military weaponry controlled by robots, this 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.