P.W. Singer on Robotics and War


On Saturday, an apparent double agent for Al Qaeda killed seven CIA officers in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. On Sunday, a U.S. drone flattened a militant hideout in neighboring Pakistan’s Al Qaeda stronghold.

It looked like a blow-for-blow exchange. But the U.S. blows came by remote control. By robotic warfare.

P.W. Singer says robots — on the ground, in the air — are taking the United States into undeclared war. Remote control war. War with very new parameters and implications. He’s with us today.

This hour, On Point: P.W. Singer on the relentless march of robots into war.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


P.W. Singer joins us from Washington. He’s senior fellow and director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings. His most recent book, just out in paperback, is “Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.” His previous books include “Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry” and “Children at War.” He served as coordinator for Barack Obama’s defense policy task force during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Read an excerpt from “Wired for War” at Singer’s website.

More links:

On our Notes & Updates blog, we take a look at several videos of U.S. drones and war-bots, like the MQ-9 Reaper, shown here:

Read the post and see more videos.

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