Date of Award

6-2013

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Intelligence Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Joseph DiRenzo III

Abstract

From computers to satellites, sophisticated technological development has touched, modified and enhanced the daily existence of mankind in all walks of life. The worlds of intelligence and defense have not been exempted from such influence. These two “cousins,” in fact, encompass some of the foremost pioneers, researchers, developers and first hand users of said techno logy. Today, a vast array of technological systems has become available to both the US Intelligence Community and the military in order to perform their missions safely and efficiently. One such platform is that of the unmanned aircraft system (UAS). It consists of two variants; the UAV (unarmed) intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) version and the weaponized, unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV). The focus of the research is primarily centered upon the armed, UCAV versions; the Predator and Reaper platforms. The purpose and intent of this research is to examine the current literature on the subject and shed light upon the various legal, ethical, moral and technological ramifications and limitations. The study also seeks to clarify the advantages and disadvantages, surrounding the use of such deadly and sophisticated unmanned technology.

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