January 22, 2014

20YY: Preparing for War in the Robotic Age

By Robert O. Work and Shawn Brimley

Written by CNAS Chief Executive Officer Robert O. Work and CNAS Executive Vice President and Director of Studies Shawn Brimley, 20YY: Preparing for War in the Robotic Age calls upon the United States to prepare for war in new era in which “unmanned and autonomous systems will play central war-fighting roles for the United States, its allies and partners, and its adversaries.”

The authors warn of a not-too-distant future where “guided munitions and battle networking technologies have proliferated widely and are employed by both state and non-state actors,” making all military operations more deadly and costly. At the same time, and notwithstanding changes in the strategic environment, the spiraling costs of personnel and crewed combat systems means the U.S. armed forces will likely be smaller in the future than in the immediate past. In response to both of these trends, the authors argue that U.S. planners will increasingly turn to unmanned and robotic systems for answers, and these systems will be increasingly capable and autonomous in action.

  • Robert O. Work

    Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security, Owner, TeamWork, LLC

    Secretary Robert O. Work is the Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security at the Center for a New American Security and the owner of TeamWork, LLC, which s...

  • Shawn Brimley

    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Shawn Brimley is Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) where he manages the center’s research agenda and staff. Mr....

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