March 01, 2015

The Foreign Policy Essay: The South Korean Sentry—A “Killer Robot” to Prevent War

By Alexander Velez-Green

A new sentry guards the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. It is South Korea’s SGR-A1, a robot with the ability to autonomously identify and destroy targets. This autonomous capability would make the SGR-A1 one of the “lethal autonomous weapon systems” targeted today by activists campaigning to “stop killer robots.” One of their principal fears is that such weapons will make conflict cheaper for states and therefore more likely to occur. But the SGR-A1 is a case in point for the opposite: it shows that in some situations, autonomous weapon systems can actually raise the threshold for aggression between states, thereby making war less likely to occur.

Read the full op-ed at Lawfare.

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