Military robots are devices that are operated remotely in the battlefield. The 20th Century gave rise to this technological advancement that changed the face of the society. Discovery of Robotics is one of the new things that came into being. They have been used in warfare whereby unmanned robots are used to fight the enemy. This has brought about both ethical and logistical issues despite the fact that this innovation has been of great help in military campaigns.
Strategies and tactics used by these robots in warfare have brought “revolutions in military affairs” because of the advantage they give those using them (Singer, 181). The military budget has risen over the years to fund more unmanned robots over the enemy territories and to fight war against terrorism.
Terrorism has led to rise of robot technology and is equated as the answer to suicide bombing (Singer, 61). Use of Robots in war has lead to speculations on whether human beings will be replaced by these machines in military operations. Humans who will monitor and control robots in war will find it difficult keeping pace with them because they are fast, complex, numerous and small hence will reduce the level of performance by human beings (Singer, 126).
The military advancement in the use of robots in warfare will at long last essentially drastically reduce the role of human beings in war. Use of this technology will affect the traditional role of the soldier by limiting interactions between soldiers and cohesion in military units. It will therefore be difficult to establish and develop psychological and emotional bonds. The army generals who normally have control of soldiers in the battlefield will see their command limited (Singer, 348-352).
Despite not being on the battle field, the operators of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) live a double life. At the end of the day they retire home to their families but they also experience the same emotional and psychological effect like the pilots who are in the battleground and work the same number of hours protecting their compatriots in the battlefields.
The grueling hours are tiring and stressful because they are required to save lives and they take responsibility incase anything goes wrong. The use of high resolution cameras by these UAV pilots bring to them intricate details of their targets while remotely attacking enemies. These images are grimly and affect most of them. Some have even developed Post Traumatic Disorder.
Even though not being physically on the battleground reduces cost and risk of losing life, this disassociation in effect removes the ideals in which war is founded on since time immemorial – Direct combat. The perfection of the art of war by the use of robots brought the terminology to a whole new meaning as it is viewed by singer.
Singer suggests that in the process of opting for war in the resolution of conflicts, many soldiers die and causes unnecessary damage (Singer, 312). This view elaborates the psychological and demoralizing effect robots can have on the enemy. It is demoralizing to a soldier who is on the battlefield to be injured or killed by a remotely controlled object.
The use of robots in warfare can inevitably portray a country as cowardly and weak because it does want to involve itself in direct combat with the enemy. The increased use of robots in the battlefield needs countries to amend the international law. The international community should make a decision on whether to outlaw them or accept them as necessary evil.
Unfortunately, it will only take a catastrophe to force the international community to act. This delay would end up having serious consequences when it comes to making a decision on how to deal with the highly sophisticated robots in war.
Singer, P.W. Wired for War. London: Penguin Books. 2009. Print