M. Shane Riza is a writer, speaker, and warrior/ philosopher. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the National Defense University, has over 3000 hours in single-seat fighter aircraft, and is a retired military commander who served for twenty-five years.


Open sky...open mind.

Writing for the intellectually discerning.

About Me

Bestselling author of Killing Without Heart: Limits on Robotic Warfare in an Age of Persistent Conflict about the deep moral questions we face when we decide to engage in warfare.

The goal with my writing is to engage in civil, intellectual discussion on some of the pressing matters of our time. I wish only for open minds, objectivity, and those who seek the truth to converse and share the written word.


Recent Updates and Events

--NEW! I have been writing a weekly (now bi-weekly) Op Ed in the Buford Illustrated Weekly.

--Killing Without Heart was reviewed in the Daily Press, Hampton Roads, VA.

--Killing Without Heart was named a "bestseller" in the Nebraska Press/Potomac Summer Catalog! Link.

--My article,"Two Dimensional Warfare: Combatants, Warriors, and our Post-Predator Collective Experience," is available in the Journal of Military Ethics. See Works by Author to get a link to a downloadable Accepted Manuscript.

--Please see my book, Killing Without Heart: Limits on Robotic Warfare in an Age of Persistent Conflict, from Potomac Books, Inc. Link. Pick it up, write a review on your favorite site, and share on your thoughts.

--See my article for InterAgency Journal, a publication of The Command and General Staff College Foundation and the Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation. Link

Security by Remote Control:

Automation and Autonomy in Robot Weapon Systems


Upcoming Projects

--NEW! I am honored to have been asked to speak at the Australian Defence College in September and October of 2016 on the future of war and the moral and ethical issues with robotic warfare.

--I continue to work on my blog and look for opportunites to engage the public on the subjects I care deeply about.

--Please find me at my contact page if you or your organization are interested in hosting an event.


Past Speaking Engagements

--Speaker and book signing at Middlesex Public Library, Middlesex, VA in the fall of 2014.

--Speaker/Instructor at Baptist General Convention of Texas Chaplain Conference on "How We Go to War: the Just War Ethic and its Continued Relevance, Spring 2014.

--Keynote Speaker for "Security by Remote Control: Automation and Autonomy in Robot Weapons Systems" symposium at Lancaster University, UK, May 22nd and 23rd, 2014. Podcast available here.

--Guest lecturer in Introduction to Philosophy course, Old Dominion University, VA Beach campus.

--Great Decisions series, VA Beach and Williamsburg, "'Asinine Ethics' and Meaningful War," January and February 2014.

--"Morality, Risk, and Accountability," Baptist General Convention of Texas, Waxahachie, TX, September 2013.

--"The Morality of Risk," Eisenhower School for National Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Washington D.C., August 2013.

--Book Talk on "The Morality of Risk," Cherry Log Christian Church, August 2013

--"Midday with Dan Rodrick," WYPR Baltimore (NPR Affiliate), discussing drone warfare, June 2013

--Featured Speaker, 354 Fighter Wing Awards Ceremony, Fairbanks, AK, February 2013

--Presenter, Leavenworth Ethics Symposium, December 2012.

--Guest Lecturer, Robotics and Autonomous Systems Industry Study, Industrial College of the Armed Forces

March 2012, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC

--Panelist for "Unmanned Platforms: Implications for Mission Autonomy for U.S. Forces"

National Defense University Transforming National Security Series Event, May 2011

Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC

How We Go To War: The Just War Ethic
and its Continued Relevance