Military robots are those autonomous robots or simply devices that are controlled by remotes. If such devices are used mainly for military applications, then they are referred to as military robots. These robots can be traced back in World War II or Cold War where they were mainly designed by the Germans. Jus ad bellum help in determining the legality of the use of force to administer war. It helps determine whether a state has broken the law to use a certain amount of force beyond its borders (Alpert, 23). The use of military robots on the ground has continuously lowered the jus ad bellum threshold. This is because it results into excessive destruction of property and loss of lives.
How a philosopher support the view
According to P.W Singer, a political scientist and a preeminent specialist, the excessive use of military robots on the ground is changing the reality of the war. The philosopher is worried about the future of the war as their will be no humanity. The use of robots has consequences as they pose a lot of threat to civilians casualties. Whenever the robots are used, the number of casualties is always high. He says that robots on the ground will continuously engage in dirty and dangerous jobs which might be unlawful. It is also sad that despite all those engagements, nobody holds take responsibilities for the actions of the robots. The robots may have advantage over terrain as they can work in any terrain whatsoever. Robots on the ground have got certain qualities that make them more inhuman hence can cause excessive destruction. They are usually immune to sleep and they do not get exhausted. Robots are also intelligent but lack passion. In most cases they get involved in atrocities that are against the Law. The philosopher is worried that since robots have low morals and lacks emotions, they can commit war crimes violating the human rights.
It is always unclear who to hold responsible for the actions of robots on the ground. However, the commanding officer has a duty to ensure that the robots do not perform unlawful tasks. The main challenge the commanders face is that the robots cannot distinguish between opponents and innocent citizens (Alpert, 21). If programmed to fire a certain region, robots on the ground would proceed to fire without considering the people in the region. Also, when these robots fail to execute their task, not only is the commander taken responsible but also the manufacturer.
There are times that the robots can malfunction hence causing havoc. It is essential that robots installed with recorders so that they can record all the happenings on the battlefield. According to the international laws, all members of the UN charter should refrain in their international relations from threats or even using force against political independence or even territorial integrity of a state. The robots when they malfunction defy odds and operate outside instructions. In that situation, they might use excessive force which is against the law.
Again, the intention of the jus ad Bellum Threshold is to maintain peace and determine when war is unavoidable. The force used to fight in war is also regulated under the law. Both LOW (Laws of War) and rules of engagement (ROE) require that there be high level of precision. They require that the military robots executing the commands have their eyes on the target. This must be accompanied by accurate constructions from the commanding officer. This sometimes becomes difficult for the commanding officer. They program the robots on the grounds inappropriately thus lowering the jus ad bellum threshold. This leads to excessive force being used in the war. At times, the target is always misdirected. For example, a robot programmed to target terrorists and fire on sight can fire innocent kids on site at the region directed.
According to Singer, military robots have got high level of accuracy. This is accompanied by high speed as they have the capability of possessing speed and accuracy unlike human soldiers. Human soldiers in case of accuracy would be forced to sacrifice speed. When military are compared to robots, humans who have their eyes on the target in most cases are usually less reliable and slower hence giving advantage to the machines in form of robots. This is one of the reasons why military robots lower the jus ad bellum threshold.
According to Dr. Singer, the use of military robots on the ground may make going to war easier. This is against the laws as states may reside to aggressive ways of settling scores. Also, they may decide to adopt proactive foreign policies. As a result, the use of military robots should be curtailed to avoid frequent use of war to solve differences between states.
These issues are objected by Lin et al who argue that technology is fast taking centre stage and cannot be ignored in the field of war. He further clarifies that a country should not be stopped from developing technology that will directly contribute to very during conflict. The new technology he argues that will make armed conflict more palatable. Also, he feels that people should not fear the brutality; on the contrary, they should concentrate on better ways of making the military robots perfect so as not to cause unnecessary harm and destruction.
According to Strawers, the military robots may be a threat to the jus ad bellum threshold but he believes they offer more. He cautions against concentration on the negative side of the military robots. He again argues that scientists should work in ensuring that collateral damage due to attacks by the robots is minimized. Strawer say that since the military robots are machines that does not rely on the common sense, emotions and intuitions. Research should be done on how to bridge such gaps and ensure that the robots do not defy commands given.
As much as there are some negative effects that come along when military robots are used on the ground, the advantages override the negativity by far. The fact that military robots lack emotions and hence can cause a lot of destruction during war, should be changed through research. Research should be developed to help curb the failures that might come across when using robots during war. All in all, despite the fact that robots are fast and accurate in military execution, countries should not rush to war unless it is totally avoidable. There are other options for solving conflicts between countries apart from war.
Alpert, B. (2012). Military robots. North Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press.
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