IRF: ICRAC’s Juergen Altmann on unmanned systems and arms control

On 7 March 2010, the Austrian “Institut für Religion und Frieden” published an extensive interview with ICARC’s Juergen Altmann. He sums up ICRAC’s critical stance on the recent developments in unmanned systems:

We are worried by the accelerating trend to arm uninhabited military vehicles, by the high numbers of non-combatants killed in present US and UK remote-control attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and by the seriously discussed prospect that soon computers may decide, when and whom to kill. We see dangers for the laws of warfare – discrimination and proportionality demand assessment of a complex war situation which for the foreseeable future artificial-intelligence systems will likely not be able to make. When the US near-monopoly of armed UAVs will be broken, additional dangers can be foreseen: from the undermining of arms-control treaties via the destabilisation of the situation between potential adversaries to proliferation and to possible use by terrorists. Politically, the prospect of sending fewer human soldiers and using mostly uninhabited combat systems may raise the inclination to go to war for some states.

The full text of the interview can be found here.

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