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The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

There Ought To Be An International Ban On The Military Use Of Drones

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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 647 times Debate No: 86150
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)




Definitions -
Ought: A moral imperative, ie. saves lives
International: Not only the US, but also the rest of the world.
Ban: Merriam-Webster defines ban as to forbid people from using
Military Use: Of or relating to the army
Drones: Merriam-Webster defines drone as an unmanned aircraft or ship. If agreeable, I would like to limit this topic to armed drones, as those are the most debatable and most often used by foreign military's.


1. No forfeits
2. Sources may be provided in the comments
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. First round is for acceptance only
7. Violation of any rules is an automatic loss

1st Round - Acceptance
2nd Round - Arguments
3rd Round - Rebuttals
4th Round - Conclusion

If you would like to switch sides, send me a PM.


I accept these Terms.

Please note that my stance in this debate does not reflect my personal views, If I offend during this debate, please realise I am not doing what I 'usually' do in a debate - So not to judge me as harshly :)

Good Luck to my opponent, I wish us both the best :)
Debate Round No. 1


I have two main points:
1. Drone Strikes kill innocent civilian lives
2. Drones create more terrorists than they kill

1. "The drones came for Ayman Zawahiri on the 13th of January 2006, hovering over a village in Pakistan called Damadola. Ten months later, they came again for the same man who would later become al-Qaeda's leader, this time in Bajaur.R32;
Eight years later, Zawahiri is still alive. But seventy-six innocent children and 29 innocent adults, according to reports after the two strikes, are not." [1]
"Documents detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. In Yemen and Somalia, where the U.S. has far more limited intelligence capabilities to confirm the people killed are the intended targets, the equivalent ratios may well be much worse." [2] My opponent might state that drone strikes help save lives, that they can protect us. But they can't. They take many innocent lives, lives of people who have done nothing wrong. The international community MUST ban armed drones as it is our moral imperative, as humans and citizens of the world, to protect life, and hold it sacred.

2. People who see their loved ones injured or killed in drone attacks become motivated to join actions against the United States. According to author Jeremy Scahill, the vast majority of militants operating in Yemen today are "people who are aggrieved by attacks on their homes that forced them to go out and fight."
"Drone strikes take out a few bad guys to be sure, but they also kill a large number of innocent civilians. Given Yemen"s tribal structure, the U.S. generates roughly forty to sixty new enemies for every AQAP [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] operative killed by drones." [3] Even if my previous argument is wrong, we still have a moral imperative to ban armed drones, due to the fact that, even if we accomplish the goal of killing a terrorist, we are simply creating more. Whatever impact the con claims we gain from drone strikes, we merely are creating more problems.

[1] -Spencer Ackerman (Author)
[2] The Intercept, taken from
[3] Nabeel Khoury, who was deputy chief of mission in Yemen from 2004 to 2007, taken from


Thank you Pro, I will provide my argument stance below.

I am maintaining through this debate that Drones are cannot be deemed a hazard, and as such regulations to ban can be considered 'unreasonable'.
At risk of being accused of sounding like a broken record - I would like to re-iterate that this is not my actual stance on this argument, however for the purposes of viewing other perspectives, I believe I have found an avenue to pursue to diversify our understanding, and perhaps open new insight on the matter.

My current arguments center around the fact that War is inherently a destructive activity, and the change of the combatants in no way affects the current problems raised, as they have been valid since the first fight between two communities or factions.

There are many stories of single 'war heroes' that successfully performed tasks originally percieved to be impossible, Some stories show single people or platoons holding off a critical point and 'beating the odds to achieve glory' - most result in their death, or serious disfigurement.[1] (I have raised this for a reason, however I will clarify in later rounds, This is to lay my arguments out)

Travesties have been commited by invading parties - These are considered the unfortunate by-product of an invading army taking advantage of the turmoil, to sate personal drives. (This includes acts of Rape, Torture and theft/looting by invading troops) Armies that have specifically been sent to a location as peace keepers are still prone to this abuse of power. [2]

Effectively, this debate in my opinion can be boiled down to - "We can never anticipate what a combatant can do, however the chances of a Human Combatent being 'evil' is much lower than the capacity a machine can have to be 'evil'".
Or, If one soldier or leader is 'Evil" - then the other members of their army can incapacitate or overcome this internal breach of morality - or if an entire army is 'corrupted' - it can be wiped out, and that is the end of it.
Current arguments against this stance are to say that "One person is all it requires to take control of the drones, thus impeaching on our security" - My Argument to this (Which I raise due to prior knowledge on the arguments on this topic) - Is that to ban something simply due to the fact that one person can cause damage, Is to Ban all concept of fighting as all it really takes is one person to do something, to do irrepairable damage.

Currently my arguments have been 'defensive' - I will now list some 'Pro's' to support my stance :

Morality :
Machines do not have Morality, this is a known fact, and the complex algorythms required to simulate our morality is currently beyond us.
The Negative side of this, is that machines will accept new information and orders without viewing the 'why'.
The positive side, Is the fact that the travisties occured during war will not occur - Robots have no need to rape, pillage and plunder for personal gain, they will simply do what they are originally there to do (Be it attack enemies or support the civilians from 3rd party threats).

Human Error:
Univerally it is a fact that for all requests people make of each other, allowances have to be made for 'human error' this entails to pretty much any subject a Human is related in - It is expected that our calculations are given a margin of error, Driving you are not expected to maintain the speed limit perfectly (you may slow up and speed down and this is acceptable) - the reason for this is that Humans are susceptible to emotions, which can help or hinder our performance on the task (Some can call it 'getting the Yips").
Machines do not have this problem, unless it was programmed to do so, The fact that a machine can be presented with a split second decision, and not 'lock up' is incredibly useful in battlefield situations - Along with the fact that tactically, sometimes a leader must sacrifice a few troops to save many - In the past this was accepted as what was required at times, and some armies had units specifically dedicated for being these 'shock troops' that take the hits while everyone falls back (Vikings come to mind specifically for this, however I cannot think of a specific fight to reference here).
With a machine, this tactic would only be considered an economical cost - Literally just the cost to make the machine is lost, no life.

Performance :
True that alot of the time Drones miss their targets, or inadvertantly accost civilians (E.g. Bombing raid gone wrong, or miss-information causing an attack at the wrong location) - However the majority of the time, they are accurate - they utilise maths, physics and a million other processes to ensure accuracy to their shots, and time will build this into a higher accuracy - and a decrease in 'misses' which result in civilian casualties.

With regards to the points you raised, I will address them in the next round - as per the Debate format you have created.

Sources :
[1] :;

[2] : (Sources are specifically around UN peace keeping troops - to show that even forces sent for the sole purpose to help the population, still abuse the power - other instances are implied, however this sufficiently proves the point, and leaves the reader to the logical step of Armies not specifically dedicated to the assistance of Civilians are even more likely to commit such acts).
Debate Round No. 2


Misterpoker forfeited this round.


This comes as a surprise.

Debate Round No. 3


Misterpoker forfeited this round.


As my points raised in the second round have remained unchallenged, by definition they are considered accepted by omission.

A little disappointed as this was challenged, and apart from the first round, there has been no further updates by my opponent.... Unsure if this is due to life, or if the flare for debate has abated temporarily.

Regardless, I thank my opponent for the opportunity, the time spent researching to represent the 'other side' of this argument has provided myself with much knowledge that I was not aware of, So for that I am grateful.

Thank you, I hope everyone has an excellent weekend :)
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Zarium 2 years ago
I personally do not agree with the stance I am in, however for the sake of argument and to have an interesting debate - I will seat my perception inside the opposition's position.

Please do not judge me, as I have to warp some of my thoughts so I can respond appropriately. (This is not intended to mean I will act differently, just change how I grade things).

Effectively, I believe the risk of a single man in power making a rash decision and effectively taking 'control' is too high a risk to make Drones a viable source, Dictators are effectively leashed when their soldiers make their own decisions (Such as "Hey... I dont *want* to slaughter those civilians...") - Robots do not have this conflict of conscious.

However, I wish to discuss the subject, So I am more than happy to argue from my personal views 'opposition'.

Good luck to us both!
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Edlvsjd 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff
Vote Placed by U.n 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: 2 forfeited turns by Pro.
Vote Placed by ssadi 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Since Pro forfeited rounds 3 & 4, conduct goes to Con. In addition, RULES: "1. No forfeits." & "7. Violation of any rules is an automatic loss." Pro forfeited rounds 3 & 4 which violates 1st rule. According to 7th rule, since Pro has violated 1st rule, then they automatically loose all points to Con. => Therefore, according to rules conduct, S&G, arguments, and sources go to Con!