The US Army’s Future Combat Systems program calls for one third of their fighting strength to be robots by 2015. The American pilots seeing the most combat in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, do so from flight consoles in the United States, and they are controlling Predator unmanned vehicles. Every branch of the U.S. military has aggressive robotics programs in place. This is not anything unusual. Other nations are also developing and purchasing robotic systems designed to be used in combat. Advances in communications, software and hardware make it inevitable that robotics will have a profound effect on conflict in the future. The development of these systems has been rapid and while technology hurtles forward, culture and understanding seem to lag behind. Similar to the way our legal codes are playing catch up with new technologies, combat enabled robots raise questions and issues that did not even exist a short time ago. Wired for War by Dr. P. W. Singer is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested to dive into just what is going on all over the world with regards to robotics and their use by the military.
9 June, 2009