Arguments for Banning Autonomous Weapon Systems: A Critique

Dissertation, Georgia State University (2019)
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Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS) are the next logical advancement for military technology. There is a significant concern though that by allowing such systems on the battlefield, we are collectively abdicating our moral responsibility. In this thesis, I will examine two arguments that advocate for a total ban on the use of AWS. I call these arguments the “Responsibility” and the “Agency” arguments. After presenting these arguments, I provide my own objections and demonstrate why these arguments fail to convince. I then provide an argument as to why the use of AWS is a rational choice in the evolution of warfare. I conclude my thesis by providing a framework upon which future international regulations regarding AWS could be built.

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Hunter Cantrell
United States Military Academy


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