Experts call for limiting armed tele-operated and autonomous systems, adopt new arms control regime

According to the group armed tele-operated and autonomous systems have the potential to accelerate the pace & tempo of warfare, to undermine existing arms controls and regulations, to exacerbate the dangers of asymmetric warfare, and to destabilize regional and global security. In particular, autonomous systems may further the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force and obscure the moral and legal responsibility for war crimes.

There is, therefore, an urgent need to bring into existence an arms control regime to regulate the development, acquisition, deployment, and use of armed tele-operated and autonomous robotic weapons. We hold that this regime should prohibit:

  • Further development, acquisition, deployment, and use of armed autonomous robot weapons.
  • Arming new kinds of autonomous or tele-operated systems with nuclear weapons.
  • The development, deployment, and use of robotic space weapons.

We hold that this regime should restrict:

  • The range and payload of armed tele-operated uninhabited vehicles.
  • The number, by class and capability, of armed tele-operated uninhabited systems fielded by any state.
  • The endurance of these systems.
  • The development, acquisition, and deployment of weaponised uninhabited systems below a minimum size.

The expert Workshop was organised by the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) and Physics & Disarmament, Experimentelle Physik III, Technische Universität Dortmund with funding from the German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF) and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (York, UK).

One Response

  1. Read a sober response, a response grounded in the reality of actual arms control, to this proposition at http://www.6gw.org.

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