The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library Presents Joseph Chapa - Is Remote Warfare Moral?

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library Presents Joseph Chapa - Is Remote Warfare Moral?

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2022 7:00 PM

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307

An author with unique credentials of moral philosopher, Predator pilot, and Air Force officer probes the burning issue of remote warfare: is it the right thing to do and, if so, why?

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and A Cappella Books welcome author and Air Force Officer Joseph Chapa for a discussion on his book, “Is Remote Warfare Moral? Weighing Issues of Life and Death from 7,000 Miles,” on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at 7 PM.  

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the venue. Masks are optional. 

About the Book

In the 21st century, we have come to rely more on remote warfare—drone strikes, targeted killings, and other tactics—to conduct our military business and avoid sending “boots on the ground.” And targeted killings of Iranian high government official General Qasem Soleimani and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki have caused international outrage. Air Force Officer Joseph Chapa, who also has a doctorate in moral philosophy, takes a big step back and considers the most fundamental question: is it the right thing to do—and if so, why?

Chapa considers important moral issues such as:

  • What justifies military violence? Is it just risk? Is it the defense of others?
  • What are the implications of the distance between war and warfighter on questions about courage, loyalty, and military honor?
  • How does remote warfare relate to what we often think of as traditional warfare?
  • What principles should we use to evaluate its morality, especially as the crew applies human judgment in a morally complex combat environment?
  • We are at a historical inflection point as leading military powers are increasing the use of remote weapons, broadening the scope of targeted killing operations, and turning to artificial intelligence to control their weapons systems. Is Remote Warfare Moral? is an essential read to deal with the complexities of the future of war.  

About the Author

Joseph O. Chapa is a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force, he is the Air Force's lead ethicist for artificial intelligence, and he leads the Department of the Air Force's Artificial Intelligence Cross-Functional Team. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Oxford. His areas of expertise include just war theory, military ethics, and especially the ethics of remote and autonomous weapons. His doctoral research investigates an individual rights-based account of just war theory. He is a senior pilot with more than 1,400 pilot and instructor pilot hours, many of which were flown in support of major U.S. combat and humanitarian operations.