Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 10:10 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 10:10 | SYDNEY

Do robots start wars?


Sam Roggeveen


28 August 2009 10:43

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones magazine is worried:

It's not just drones, of course. It's the entire robotic revolution in warfare. When we get to the point where one side is able to conduct war effectively with virtually no fear of loss of life, does that mean that public pressure against war will start to fade away? After all, demand curves slope downward. When war becomes cheaper, we'll get more war. Right?

Maybe, but even without robots, long-range precision bombing has already made war a great deal cheaper in human lives for advanced military forces. So have improved body armour and better battlefield medical care. Yet no one advocates reversing those technological trends, even if they increase the risk of war.