Dilemmas in the Use of Autonomous Weapons
Weapon systems are expected to become increasingly autonomous in the coming decades and fundamentally change the face of future military conflicts. There are already serious concerns that this trend will lead to the use of autonomous attack robots on the battlefield, and these concerns have prompted calls to impose sweeping restrictions on technological development. As the use of weapons with autonomous capabilities expands, doubts as to their moral and legal legitimacy will likely multiply. This article reviews the operational aspects of military uses of autonomous capabilities and the main positions in the ethical and legal debate on this subject. It includes recommendations for Israel, a country at the forefront of autonomous weapons technology and operational use, on how to prepare for the public and legal challenges these technologies are expected to encounter.