Fighting wars by remote control
Robots are revolutionising warfare, but what are the ethical implications?
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2010 09:46 GMT

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, it was only using a handful of "unmanned aerial systems" - otherwise known as "drones".

Today the US has ground, aerial, marine and stationary robots in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen - one robot can even operate an M-16 rifle and a rocket launcher.

On Tuesday's Riz Khan we look at the de-humanisation of war as robot combat gathers momentum, and we explore the legal implications of the latest advances in military technology.

Joining the programme in Washington DC is PW Singer, a former defence adviser on Barack Obama's presidential campaign and author of Wired for War: The Robotics of Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, and from Geneva, Philip Alston, the independent UN investigator on extrajudicial killings.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired from Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.