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Category Archives: Autonomous Weapon Systems

Readings: Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 12:08 AM

We are pleased to share our recently published article on law and autonomous weapons, on which we teamed up with our good friend Daniel Reisner (formerly head of the Israel Defense Forces International Law Department). The article, “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems,” appears as 90 International Law Studies 386 (2014), . . .
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Readings: The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints by Andrea Gilli and Mauro Gilli

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Political science graduate students Andrea Gilli (European Union Institute, Florence) and Mauro Gilli (Northwestern University, Evanston) have posted a new and provocative paper to SSRN–“The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints.” I read this paper when first posted to SSRN some weeks back, but I waited to discuss it in a Readings post . . .
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Reflections on the Chatham House Autonomy Conference

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Monday, March 3, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Chatham House recently held a conference on autonomous military technologies, the focus of which was really the current debate regarding autonomous weapon systems. Kudos to Chatham House for leaning forward in this critical area and for bringing together the right mix of people for an engaging and productive conference. The event was held under Chatham . . .
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Autonomous Weapons: Is an Arms Race Really a Threat?

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Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM

There has certainly been much written about the controversy over autonomous weapons systems, but in my preparation for a Chatham House conference on autonomous weapons, I found one argument made by advocates of a ban on such weapons, however,  that merits some close examination.  These advocates make the point that there will be a robotics arms race . . .
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Killer Robots and the Laws of War in Monday’s Wall Street Journal

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Monday, November 4, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Today’s Wall Street Journal carries an op-ed piece by Matt and me on the regulation of autonomous weapon systems, “Killer Robots and the Laws of War: Autonomous Weapons Are Coming and Can Save Lives. Let’s Make Sure They’re Used Ethically and Legally.”  Although the topic has not been especially visible in the United States (at . . .
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Autonomous Weapon Systems: Why a Ban (Still) Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can

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Friday, October 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Over at TNR’s Security States, Matt and I have a new piece about international calls to ban autonomous weapon systems.  It begins like this: What if armed drones were not just piloted remotely by humans in far-away bunkers, but they were programmed under certain circumstances to select and fire at some targets entirely on their . . .
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“Drones Are the Future for Dull or Dangerous Missions”

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM

The splendidly quotable title quote – “Clearly, drones are the future for dull or dangerous missions” – comes from Dan Jangblad , chief strategy officer for Sweden’s aerospace company, Saab AB, by way of an article in today’s Wall Street Journal (David Pearson, October 9, 2013, B6, likely behind paywall), “Europe’s  Elusive Drone Push.”  The article . . .
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Intelligence Squared Debate on Drone Program—And Ours

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Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM

The latest episode of Intelligence² Debates is over the resolution, “The U.S. Drones Program is Fatally Flawed.” It’s an interesting program, though I have to say that I think the Oxford Union debate this spring in which Ken and I participated is better. The IQ² debate has a pretty start-studded lineup too. Arguing for the resolution . . .
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Drone Lands on Carrier

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Friday, July 12, 2013 at 7:28 AM

You’ve probable already heard the news. But here’s the video: From NBS News: The X-47B drone made history Wednesday as the first robot to land itself on the moving flight deck of an aircraft carrier at sea,according to U.S. Navy. The machine, named “Salty Dog 502,” took off from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River . . .
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Lawfare Podcast Episode #28: A Panel Discussion on Lethal Autonomous Weapons

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Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 7:00 AM

The subject of lethal autonomous weapons has been one of considerable debate on this site—following a Human Rights Watch report calling for a preemptive international ban on such systems. Last week, the Georgetown National Security Law Society took the discussion live with a panel event on lethal systems. With the society’s permission, I have ripped the . . .
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A Policy Paper on Autonomous Weapon Systems

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Ken Anderson and I have just published a new policy paper through the Hoover Institution: Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapon Systems: Why a Ban Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can. Our paper begins: Public debate is heating up over the future development of autonomous weapon systems. Some concerned critics portray that . . .
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