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Computing and Lethal Weapons in Warfare: a 2013 Snapshot 3 Main Categories of Computer-Centric Lethal Weapons Cyber Warfare The main problem in this arena.

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Presentation on theme: "Computing and Lethal Weapons in Warfare: a 2013 Snapshot 3 Main Categories of Computer-Centric Lethal Weapons Cyber Warfare The main problem in this arena."— Presentation transcript:

1 Computing and Lethal Weapons in Warfare: a 2013 Snapshot 3 Main Categories of Computer-Centric Lethal Weapons Cyber Warfare The main problem in this arena is the fact that there are zero international laws or treaties on cyber warfare. This is a serious issue given that the strongest cyber weapons, attacks on infrastructure, disproportionally target the weak. These attacks on infrastructure could take out power to hospitals, elderly homes and could render the digital communication, transportation and businesses useless, leaving innocent civilians as the victims. For more see The Tallinn Manual. Improving the accuracy of current systems. This is where computing in warfare has gone the furthest. Drones, Tomahawk missiles and laser guidance systems have allowed for a more humane asymmetrical war. The flip side is that this gives the countries who can afford it an excuse to go to war for less egregious reasons. Autonomous Systems While the notion has serious implications for new types of ethical issues and war crimes there aren’t any proposed systems that would “pull the trigger” without the consent of a human. However there are a plethora of academic papers funded by DoD entities that contemplate how you could incorporate the laws of war into a software program but none suggest that it is either plausible or ethical to have a machine making lethal decisions. A Headline Issue: Drones There is a call for President Obama to release internal memos that might indicate whether or not he believes he has the authority to strike US civilians, especially on US soil. It seems apparent that if we can locate a local terrorist within our borders then we should be able to capture him/her and commence with due process. This debate gives credit to the how far computing in weapons has come and how it’s efficiency is raising eyebrows. There is another debate about using drones at all. It has died down in 2013. The long list of Taliban leaders that have been killed by drones and the convincing argument that it gives a much more level headed response from a pilot that can remain on scene for more hours both before and after the strike has led to drones being accepted as just another usable long-range weapons system.

2 Computing and Lethal Weapons in Warfare State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules. Thomas Jefferson 1787

3 Laws and Treaties in Place ●The Geneva Convention, The Hague ●UN Charter - Mostly Chapter 7 ●USA - LOAC Law of Armed Conflict or Law of War ○DoDD 5100.77, DoD Law of War Program, requires each military department to design a program that ensures LOAC observance, prevents LOAC violations, ensures prompt reporting of alleged LOAC violations, appropriately trains all forces in LOAC, and completes a legal review of new weapons. Preface- Law and History

4 Jus In Bello Conduct in Warfare or International Humanitarian laws. a Wikipedia summary: Persons hors de combat (outside of combat), and those not taking part in hostilities, shall be protected and treated humanely. hors de combat It is forbidden to kill or injure an enemy who surrenders, or who is hors de combat. The wounded and the sick shall be cared for and protected by the party to the conflict which has them in its power. The emblem of the "Red Cross," or of the "Red Crescent," shall be required to be respected as the sign of protection. Captured combatants and civilians must be protected against acts of violence and reprisals. They shall have the right to correspond with their families and to receive relief. No-one shall be subjected to torture, corporal punishment, or cruel or degrading treatment. Parties to a conflict, and members of their armed forces, do not have an unlimited choice of methods and means of warfare. Parties to a conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants. Attacks shall be directed solely against military objectives. o Take away: The killing part was never meant to be fair. Everything else is.

5 Jus ad Bellum ‘Just’ reasons for going to war o Can be summed up with one word - “Defense” o One important point - History has shown that defense often happens in the territory of the Aggressor.

6 ●Any arms race without reason is unethical. ●There are of course many reasons to develop lethal weapons. ●Some are better than others and the aspects of those reasons vary between the technology and the application. Central Issue:

7 Three Main Categories of Technology in Weaponry 1. Autonomous Systems  Sentry Guns  Robotics TALON SWORDS MAARS *In assecending order of ethical clarity

8 Three Main Topics cont’d 2. Infrastructure Attacks o Weapons of Mass Disruption o Unintended Lethality

9 3. Accuracy of Lethal Weapons  Smart Bombs  Drones  Auto-Aiming Sniper Rifle  Facial Recognition Landmines?

10 Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics: ● A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. ● A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. ● A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Furthermore, increasing complexity may lead to emergent behaviors, i.e., behaviors not programmed but arising out of sheer complexity [e.g., Kurzweil, 1999, 2005] But seriously... I read 2 and half academic papers paid for by DoD entities on AI on the battlefield and they were just speculating on how the laws of war would be implemented. They weren’t anywhere close to proposing what systems should start being developed or a even close to addressing how they would be developed. 1.Autonomous Weapons

11 Back in Reality: The current state of ethical autonomy is in its infancy or even less. There is absolutely no way that even within the next 5 years a robot could possibly follow the rules of Jus in Bello (Laws during war): - Is an enemy surrendering? - Is an enemy adequately debilitated? - Am I using proportional force? - Is it an enemy disguised in a burka? All weapons system currently have Soldiers both navigating/setting waypoints and pulling the trigger

12 2.Mass Disruption/Cyber Warfare: Jus ad Bellum and Jus in Bello Laws - That’s all of ‘em.

13 Published in early 2013 by 20-member panel. Commissioned by NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence Is the only unofficial “guide” for lawful actions by nations in the use of and response to cyber attacks. Tallinn - Capital of Estonia which suffered a massive cyber attack that it says came from Russia. It Raised many questions. ●At 300 pages you could become a leading expert in international cyber warfare in a couple of days! It’s free to the public. The Tallinn Manual

14 ●It is justifiable to go to war over cyber attacks as long as those attacks cause death or good deal of destruction ●Hackers can be combatant targets under these conditions. ●Civilians, even if they are on a shared network with the military, are off limits. Tallinn Basics

15 ●Infrastructure “On the battlefield they would destroy control and command functions without killing soldiers – who might be persuaded to surrender. The weapons would thus also be in accord with the jus in bello demand of proportionality. The weapons would make possible the reduction of killing and wounding troops.” --Richard T. De George[ Post-September 11: Computers, ethics and war] On the other hand it would take out Hospitals, Elderly homes, and make useless the digital infrastructure that sustains life in a city. You would essentially be targeting the weak of the society you were at war with. “Add to that the destruction of the communications systems, the transportation system, and all the private and business computers. The city would stop functioning except on the most primitive level, and hence the effect on innocent civilians would be devastating.” - Richard T. De George Rough Ethical Arguments on Cyber Attacks

16 It’s all about accuracy... Rough Ethical Arguments on Cyber Attacks

17 3. Accuracy of Weapons: The Good Smart Bombs - " However, a happy by-product is that they can reduce the risk of collateral damage when actually used in war. A striking illustration of this was the extent to which the ordinary citizens in Baghdad frequently went about their business even as bombs were falling. They had quickly become accustomed to bombs hitting their intended military targets – so much so that when one went astray and landed in a residential area, they were incensed. "--Richard T. De George(again) jus in bello has always stated throughout history that the death of non- combatants should be avoided at all costs. Therefore you could argue that we have a moral and ethical obligation to develop these weapons.

18 Accuracy: The Gray ●Are aggressors more likely to attack us knowing they can hide in the civilian population? ○ I would argue that if they can’t hide like that then their cause isn’t just enough to start a war anyways. ○ However, does it put civilians at risk as shields. i.e. Afghanistan Are we more likely to attack because we have this weaponry? o Jus ad Bellum states that war is always a last resort. o However this a concern - more later. Given that the accuracy of these weapons makes them more humane and closer to jus in bello ideals shouldn’t we be making this open source technology? If our enemies were going to drop bombs on us wouldn’t we want them to use these bombs?

19 Accuracy, The Dark Side: Assassination, History Nov. 20, 1975: Senate Select Committee to study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Agencies (Church Committee) reported numerous CIA assassination attempts: Fidel Castro (Cuba), Patrice Lumumba (Congo), Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic), and 2 others occurred during the Presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon. o Every president up after this report until Bush Sr. Signed an order stating no one in the Gov shall not take part in assassination plots. January 23, 1995: Pres. Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12947 that approved creation of list of specific terrorists. 1998: Bill Clinton creates secret list of Bin Laden and associates that he targets for assassination. Citing the Constitution Article 2 Section 2. - Mostly Quoting from “Targeted Killings”: Timeline of U.S. Policy Concerning Covert Operations Involving Assassination. by Prof. Gordon L. Bowen

20 Assassination Law Article 23b of the Hague Regulations, adopted by the U.S. and other nations in 1907, prohibits “assassination, proscription, or outlawry of an enemy, or putting a price upon an enemy’s head, as well as offering a reward for an enemy 'dead or alive'."

21 Which brings us to: Drones I have to say that I am biased here. From my experience the military offers many avenues for reporting misconduct, especially when an artillery mission is involved. I couldn’t imagine a large unit, like the one in charge of drone strikes, not having more dissenters if they were really killing as many civilians as some reporters claim. I've heard the one soldier who left the program but he didn’t seem credible to me.

22 Drones ●Long War Journal: ○ 7 to 1 Legitimate combatants in Afghanistan. ○ Yemen: 1 civilian casualty to 5 ●UN: 84% of Civilian Casualties caused by insurgency ●Admiral Dennis Blair Director of National Intelligence: January 29, 2009 – May 28, 2010

23 Some of the Drone debate ●“The reduced costs and reduced transparency associated with unmanned systems inadvertently lower the threshold for resorting to war, and could facilitate illegitimate operations. These technologies thus threaten to undermine compliance with the Traditional just war requirements that war only be declared as a last resort and by the legitimate political authority. “ ●Show of cowardice and removing the possibility of connecting with the local people. ●Enhance Contractor lethal force capabilities? ●Even if their target acquisition capabilities reach 100%. People never seem to believe it. General Norman Swartz 19th Chief of Staff of the Air Force 2008-2012

24 Conclusions

25 Sources pdf?auth66=1384405679_6e11744ecbccdb1a08b0e7778bcf746b&ext=.pdf accessed Nov 9 2013 Post-September 11: Computers, ethics and war Richard T. De George -http://www.intelligencesquared.com accessed Oct 28 2013 Is the U.S. Drone Program Fatally Flawed? Oxford Style Debate - involving-assassination/5326095 involving-assassination/5326095 “Targeted Killings”: Timeline of U.S. Policy Concerning Covert Operations Involving Assassinationby Prof. Gordon L. Bowen ace%20in%20a%20Crowd.aspx Drone Can Spot a Face in a Crowd October 2008 By Robert H. Williams accessed Nov, 13 2013 -http://www.longwarjournal.org Accessed Nov 8-13, 2013

26 Sources chips.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm accessed Nov 13 2013 Taking Aim at an Enemy's Chips By SETH SCHIESEL Published: February 20, 2003 accessed Nov 10 Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) The Rules of War by Rod Powers accessed Nov 13, 2013 Governing lethal behavior: Embedding ethics in a hybrid deliberative/reactive robot architecture part I: Motivation and philosophy Arkin, R.C. accessed Nov 13, 2013 Was it Right to Kill Bin Laden? Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

27 accessed Nov, 13 2013 Autonomous Military Robotics: Risk, Ethics, and Design Patrick Lin, Ph.D. George Bekey, Ph.D. Keith Abney, M.A. accessed Nov 13, 2013 New Manual Explains Laws Of Cyberwarfare By Heather Maher April 01, 2013 accessed Nov 13, 2013 The Tallinn Manual Accessed Nov 13, 2013 New Warriors and New Weapons: The Ethical Ramifications of Emerging Military Technologies UNIQUE ETHICAL PROBLEMS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Obama Promised to Divulge More on Drones 6 Months Ago: Here's What We Still Don't Know November 24, 2013 By Cora Currier Sources

28 clipboard Another debate which has died down just recently is over the use of drones as a lethal weapon at all. Objectors claim that the killing is done with less of an emotional toll and that it turns missions into sport. They also claim that the most extreme of estimates of civilian casualties are true. As a veteran I will post my own thoughts. I know that, especially in the Air Force, the proper channels are set up for reporting misconduct. A 20 civilian deaths to 1 military target ratio that the objectors claim is misconduct. Missions of this type are not just a couple of guys sitting in a dark room. It is a large operation and the fact that they are are not experiencing the visceral response that a pilot with only an hour or two fuel has is a very good thing.

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