Lethal Autonomous Weapons -- Ethical and Doctrinal Implications
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The use of unmanned autonomous weapons robots and other unmanned weapon systems on the battlefield is rapidly expanding. Autonomous weapons will influence the way in which the United States wages battles in the future. They are the springboard for a transformation that will eventually result in a Revolution in Military Affairs RMA. However, there is a reluctance to arm them, which would exploit their full potential. Critics often cite the legal and ethical dimensions of fighting battles and killing humans with machines. The United States should begin capitalizing on the benefits autonomous weapons bring to the fight and should be preemptive in establishing joint war fighting doctrine and shaping international policy. This paper explores some of the operational benefits of autonomous weapons in terms of Joint Vision 2020, precision engagement, information superiority, and command and control. The author also discusses barriers to the use of autonomous weapons, including legal barriers, ethical barriers, the Law of Armed Conflict, and social implications. The paper includes a 9-page bibliography of journal articles, books, government documents, internet resources, internet sites, published papers, and unpublished papers.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Guided Munitions