Combat Robots – Cheapening life and making war easier to swallow

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy, Technology | Posted on 01-02-2010


As a former Neo-con, I used to love our fighting technology. What better advantage can you have than killing the enemy from miles away from the safety of some compound.

The problem with this is it makes the enemy’s life cheaper, and it makes it more likely you’ll instigate wars. If you are weighing whether to go to war and you know you can kill the other side without your own troops being harmed, do you think that will make you less likely or more likely to wage more wars?

Also, using robots, drones, etc, makes us think that the other side isn’t human. It’s like playing a video game. The problem is the other side is human. While terrorists should be killed, we cannot ignore collateral damage. Do you think the children of a mother accidentally killed by a drone will forgive the US for their mothers death? Will they grow up to be future terrorists in hopes of avenging their mothers death? Keep in mind the only difference between us and them is our respective governments. Chances are if peoples of both sides met on the streets as individuals, we’d say hello, excuse me and be polite. It’s only the belligerence of our governments that make us enemies.

So, back to the robots. Do they make us safer? Maybe in the short run they keep our soldiers safe, but what happens when a possible enemy creates the same technology? All the sudden our compounds are not as safe. Maybe they use robots to infiltrate our compounds, where our soldiers are controlling their robots. Not only that, what happens if terrorists get their hands on robotic terror? How much easier would it be to wage holy war with robots?

While I love technology (I work in the technology field), I think we hasten war and destruction by using technology to take life. Nothing makes you consider the cost of life in war as much as a higher chance of losing yours. We should use technology to create better defenses and for protecting life. We should pause when it comes to aggressive, life cheapening technology. While it may makes billions for defense contractors, in the long run, it poses a major threat to the people of our country. Never forget, these technologies would also be the weapons used against citizens if they ever tried rising up against an oppressive government.

YouTube – Army of the Future: Russian combat Robots.

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