This article explains why regulating autonomy in weapons systems, entailing the codification of a legally binding obligation to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, is such a challenging task within the framework of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. It is difficult because it requires new diplomatic language, and because the military value of weapon autonomy is hard to forego in the current arms control winter. The article argues that regulation is nevertheless imperative, because the strategic as well as ethical risks outweigh the military benefits of unshackled weapon autonomy. To this end, it offers some thoughts on how the implementation of regulation can be expedited.
Sauer, F. (2020, April 1). Stepping back from the brink: Why multilateral regulation of autonomy in weapons systems is difficult, yet imperative and feasible. International Review of the Red Cross. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1816383120000466