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Unmanned Systems: The Robotic Revolution as a Challenge for Arms Control

  • Niklas SchörnigEmail author
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Abstract

There is an IT revolution going on in the military: Of almost every military hardware currently in use (including tanks, fighter jets, patrol boats or submarines) an unmanned variant has been developed or is in development. Automation and autonomy are key-words when it comes to procurement. This revolution is based on the vast increase in computing power and communication bandwidth, political will and the fact that most of the relevant technology is dual-use. This chapter looks at the nexus of armament and technology in general and autonomous weapons and the increasing reliance on information technology (IT) in the military in particular. We argue that while many recent developments in the realm of IT and automation and autonomy offer military advantages at first glance, a more detailed analysis reveals severe problems and that they will most likely have a destabilising effect on the international realm. This problem is amplified by the fact that traditional means of arms control have fallen behind, when it comes to controlling IT. The text concludes that new methods and techniques of arms control have to be developed to hedge against destabilising effects of certain military IT.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HSFKFrankfurtGermany

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