Best Defense

Are autonomous weapons inevitable?

I think they are.


Best Defense is in summer re-runs. This item originally appeared on April 20, 2015.

I think they are. But Jody Williams, who worked on the land mine ban, thinks they can be banned.

It is easy to call her naïve. Yet some weapons do remain forbidden, or close to it — nerve gas, biological weapons, nuclear weapons. Yes, they have been used, but the remain essentially taboo.

And yes, if I were designing a killer robot, it would look like a cute little bunny. Hop hop BOOM.

Speaking of such things, Chris Woods will be talking with Peter Bergen about his new book, Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars, at New America in D.C. on Friday May 1 at 12:15 p.m.

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Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at @tomricks1

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