Lecture in language
War conflict strategy as well as weapon technology have changed dramatically. Not only can weapons be controlled remotely, but the control can be carried out by a computer. In times of increasing automation, some inevitable questions emerge: Who is responsible for a human life ruined by an autonomous weapon? How does this change the negotiation, tactics and duration of wars? David Whetham, professor of ethics, points out the growing need for ethical training in the military profession.
Dr. David Whetham has been working in the Defence Studies Department (DSD) of King's College London which provides academic support for specialized courses for officers. Every year, around 2000 military professionals from the UK and 50 other countries attend these courses.
David first studied philosophy at the School of Economics in London and later received a doctorate in War Studies at King’s College. He worked as a BBC researcher for a year and cooperated with the OSCE in Kosovo, supporting the 2001 and 2002 elections. He then returned to his alma mater as a teacher. „Professional military ethics education is a proven way of reducing of harm and suffering caused to civilian populations in wartime. It‘s a subject that must be taken seriously by every professional armforce everywhere on the planet,“ says the professor who has lectured at many British and foreign schools as a visiting fellow and trainer at military bases over the past 15 years, often in risky areas. He is now the Director of the King‘s Centre for Military Ethics, established in 2015 with the aim of conducting research into military ethics in order to develop and promote best practice in its education and application. The Centre is producing blended learning packages to support military ethics education at both an individual and institutional level for global defence and security forces, free at the point of delivery, in order to ensure that this public good is taught and disseminated as widely as possible. In order to pursue this goal, David was awarded a British Academy Mid-career Fellowship in Sep 2017. David’s main research interests are focused on the ethical dimensions of warfare, the development of the laws of war and also the technical development of weapons, such as drones and other autonomous devices.