Military Robots and the Future of War???

A recent article on popularmechanics.com got me thinking about military robotics and the future of war.  Although the story remains vague, these iRobot SWORDS units were apparently taken off the battlefield due to unanticipated actions.  “The gun started moving when it was not intended to move,” according to the Army’s Program Executive Officer for Ground Forces, Kevin Fahey.

Military Robots

War is an unfortunate consequence of having humanity’s social evolution severely outstripped by our technological evolution.  And the idea of having robots fight our battles certainly has its pros and cons.  On the one hand, fewer lives would be lost on the side of the deployers of the robots.  On the other hand, how fair is it to throw flesh and blood humans in the ring with terminators?  I would not be surprised to see an amendment to the Geneva convention regarding robotic warfare at some point in the near future.

Of course, robots are only the next stage in the application of technology to warfare.  Mines, predator drones, WMDs, laser-targeting bombs, and “Star Wars”-like anti-missile defenses have all been steps taken to remove the human risk progressively further from the battlefield.  Havenations can simply beat up on Have-not nations at will.

Then, of course, will come the day, when all combatants are fighting remotely.  In the future, will wars be run by teens (because their contract rate is less than adults) trained on “Missile Command” type video games, where the side with the best technology, best gamers, and biggest budget wins by wearing down the opponent’s arsenal of robots and munitions.  I guess the Haveswill always have the edge.

~ by thearchitect on April 21, 2008.

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