SWORDS lets soldiers
fire from 1 km away
Northrop Grumman is developing TAGS for
surveillance and border security
Crusher is a 6.5 ton vehicle in development under a project
funded by the U.S. Army and DARPA
Who Decides: Man or Machine?
By Major Daniel L. David
Armed Forces Journal, November 2007
Edited by Andy Ross
General George Patton: "Wars may be fought with weapons but they are won by
Robots in Iraq and Afghanistan are showing utility. But it is
unlikely that any robotic or artificial intelligence could ever replicate
the ability of a trained fighting man in combat. A machine cannot sense
something is wrong and take action when no orders have been given. It
doesn't have intuition. It cannot operate within the commander's intent
outside its programming. It doesn't have compassion and cannot extend mercy.
The idea that robots can do our fighting masks the realities of war:
unpredictability, violence, destruction, misery, suffering, and death.
Future Combat Systems (FCS) will include the use of improved fighting
vehicles and a significant increase in firepower, situational awareness and
precision engagements. It will also include several variants of robots, some
of which are designed to engage enemy forces in direct combat. But we must
pay more attention to the actions and abilities of our future opponents and
their ability to overcome the initial advantage we would gain through the
use of robotics. We must accord the human dimension at least an equal share
of our focus. The ability of the combat soldier and his leader will remain
the decisive factor in all future war.