US drones to make own lethal decisions

US drones would soon make lethal decisions on their own.

The US military is planning to give more œautonomy” to its pilotless aircraft to such an extent that drones may soon have the technical ability to make œlethal decisions” on their own, according to a report.

Engineers are working on methods to make unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) smarter and more precise, giving them the ability to œselect a target and fire their weapons without a human reviewing or checking the result,” The Defense One reports.

Although the use of assassination drones has somewhat declined recently, they still remain a major staple of the US counter-terrorism operations.

However, drones have much built-in vulnerabilities and military planners have decided that the best way to make the deadly robots more secure is to allow them to pick their targets without a human controller.

œIf it receives no outside commands, then it cannot be hacked (at least as easily). And that’s where LARs, might be the most attractive,” Joshua Foust, a freelance journalist who covers national security issues, wrote in the report.

The idea of using lethal autonomous robots, or LAR, is sparking controversy as œthey introduce new downsides policymakers are only just learning to grapple with.”

“It’s one thing to use them in a conventional conflict but we tend to fight asymmetric battles. And interventions are only military campaigns — the civilian effects matter,” said Heather Roff, a visiting professor at the University of Denver.

Roff noted that LARs are not sophisticated enough to meaningfully distinguish between civilians and terrorists in an urban environment and the idea of self-governing drones firing weapons at cities could cause an even larger outcry from civilian populations.

“The idea that you could solve that crisis with a robotic weapon is naïve and dangerous,” she said.

In February, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) became the first senior US official who publicly announced the number of people who have fallen victim to drone attacks.

œWe™ve killed 4,700,” Sen. Graham said. œSometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we™re at war, and we™ve taken out some very senior members of al-Qaeda.”

HJ/HJ

Copyright: Press TV