Rapid technological advances in the field of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) are transforming the international security environment and the conduct of contemporary conflict. Bringing together leading experts from across the globe, this book provides timely analysis on the current and future challenges associated with greater utilization of RAS by states, their militaries, and a host of non-state actors.
Technologically driven change in the international security environment can come about through the development of one significant technology, such as the atomic bomb. At other times, it results from several technologies maturing at roughly the same pace. This second image better reflects the rapid technological change that is taking us into the robotics age. Many of the chapters in this edited volume explore unresolved ethical, legal, and operational challenges that are only likely to become more complex as RAS technology matures. Though the precise ways in which the impact of autonomous systems - both physical and non-physical - will be felt in the long-run is hidden from us, attempting to anticipate the direction of travel remains an important undertaking and one that this book makes a critical effort to contend with.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Small Wars & Insurgencies.
Ash Rossiter is Assistant Professor of International Security at Khalifa University, UAE. His research rests at the nexus of technology and international security and he has published widely on this theme in journals such as Parameters and Defence Studies. He is author of the book Security in the Gulf (2020).
Introduction: The impact of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) across the conflict spectrum
1. Reluctant innovators? Inter-organizational conflict and the U.S.A.'s route to becoming a drone power
Marc R. DeVore
2. Armed, unmanned, and in high demand: the drivers behind combat drones proliferation in the Middle East
Francisco F. Milan and Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi
3. U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan's Pashtun 'tribal' region: beginning of the end under President Trump?
4. What's in it for us? Armed drone strikes and the security of Somalia's Federal Government
Brendon J. Cannon
5. What's wrong with drones? Automatization and target selection
6. Friend or frenemy? The role of trust in human-machine teaming and lethal autonomous weapons systems
Aiden Warren and Alek Hillas
7. Bots on the ground: an impending UGV revolution in military affairs?
8. Artificial intelligence, big data and autonomous systems along the belt and road: towards private security companies with Chinese characteristics?
9. The impact of Artificial Intelligence on hybrid warfare