Donnerstag, 20. Juni 2013 – Freitag, 21. Juni 2013

High-Tech Wars - 14th Annual Foreign Policy Conference

Challenges to peace and security in times of drones, robots and digital warfare

Datum, Uhrzeit
Do., 20. Juni 2013, 14.00 Uhr  –
Fr., 21. Juni 2013, 15.00 Uhr In meinem Kalender speichern
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Bundesstiftung Berlin
Wars are military conflicts between states and armed groups. In future, combat operations will be increasingly dominated by machines and algorithms. Unmanned weapons systems are already changing the nature of warfare. At present, the development and deployment of these new technologies is not adequately covered by an international regulatory framework. We are thus facing a new era in security policy and the threat of a new arms race in digital warfare and automated weapons systems.

Parallel to this development, the security landscape has been evolving. The old balance of mutually assured destruction between NATO and the Soviet bloc has been replaced by asymmetric wars in which all sides are using unconventional methods of engagement. States are increasingly being confronted by non-state actors. Recent military operations have thus been characterized by a steadily mounting asymmetry of the conflict parties. At the same time, the rapid progress of digital technology is opening new possibilities of intervention and destabilization that are capable of paralyzing a state without a shot being fired. The start and end of a war would then no longer be clearly discernible, and the perpetrators of cyber warfare or drone attacks no longer easily identifiable.

At its 14th Annual Foreign Policy Conference, the Heinrich Böll Foundation seeks to address the challenges posed to peace-oriented security policy by these new technologies. It will evaluate the current state and perspectives of the new weapons systems, and explore the issue of containing them in international political and legal frameworks to prevent a new arms race and the escalation of conflicts. At present, life-or-death decisions are still made by humans, not drones. Nevertheless, the possibilities and desired limitations of new weapons systems must be debated before international law is overrun by the new technologies.