future military

Paradox of the Future Battlefield

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The world is in a new arms race.

In the last two decades, there has been a dramatic rise of lethal autonomous weapons due to new developments in technology, computing, and military operational demands. Because autonomous weapons systems are already in use today, the ultimate question about their capabilities is not a technical one, rather legal and ethical one.

This is one of the thorniest and most pressing issues of our time.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and Vox Media’s Explainer Studio have teamed up for the first time to explore and unpack this issue in a new and exciting video titled “The Paradox of the Future Battlefield.”

The ICRC in partnership with Vox Media welcomes ICRC President Peter Maurer to explain why the ICRC has made the use of autonomous weapons, and the need to maintain human control in order for them to be used responsibly and ethically, an absolute priority.

Yochi Dreazen, Vox Foreign and National Security Editor, will moderate a discussion around the future battlefield more broadly, including cyber warfare, the rise of artificial intelligence, algorithmic targeting, the evolution of armed drones, civilian protection and the role of the Law of Armed Conflict. Featured expert panelists include Neil Davison, ICRC Arms Unit Scientific and Policy Advisor, Peter Singer, New America Senior Fellow and Author of Ghost Fleet, and Ashley Deeks, Professor at UVA School of Law.

Join the conversation online using #futurebattlefield and following @ICRC_dc , @voxmediainc, @PMaurerICRC, @peterwsinger, and @yochidreazen.

Opening Remarks:
Peter Maurer, @PMaurerICRC
President, International Committee of the Red Cross

Neil Davison
Arms Unit Scientific and Policy Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross
Author, Autonomous weapon systems: An ethical basis for human control?

Ashley Deeks
Professor, University of Virginia School of Law

Peter Singer, @peterwsinger
Strategist & Senior Fellow, New America
Author, Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War

Yochi Dreazen, @yochidreazen
Foreign and National Security Editor, Vox
Author, The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War


The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence. Established in 1863 and operating worldwide, the ICRC takes action in response to emergencies and promotes respect for international humanitarian law.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Faith Virtue
    May 9, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Drone killings are so immoral and evil.

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