Should Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWS) be banned?


L.A.W. or lethal autonomous weapons are equipment that functions separately from human beings.   They can be robots, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), submarines and more.  They operate using the beginning stages of AI or Artificial Intelligence.  LAWS can make decisions about attacking people, places or things without human control or permission.  

These weapons are literally being developed by dozens of countries

There have been negotiations on a treaty that would ban LAW since 2014 at the United Nations; however, the United States and Russia have blocked efforts at an agreement and the United States has suggested a voluntary code of conduct.  NAM, The Non-aligned Movement – consisting of 125 countries has called for an international ban.

These weapons are multi-purpose – often used for surveillance and intelligence gathering but also capable of being used as weapons (kamikaze drones) or firing weapons.


A great description of what LAWS or Lethal Autonomous Weapons are

Country by Country positions on banning LAWS

Current US policy on LAWS September 2022


*Replacing troops or manpower with machines will make going to war easier

*LAWS will result in weapon escalation in conflicts

*Proliferation of LAWS to other countries is a risk

*Machines and AI would divert from ethical choices – and inevitably violate human rights

*They are used for attacking civilian targets – like in Ukraine

*Artificial intelligence or AI is unpredictable.

*LAWS and AI  will face accountability problems when the unexpected happens – we won’t have a clear idea of who is responsible for the AI’s performance.

The use of AI in LAWS is unpredictable, immoral and threatens countries security

The ethical problem with LAWS and the replacement of human consciousness in making military decisions.  Scroll to second half of the article

An international ban would help prevent killer LAWS  Also contains the harms of LAWS


* LAWS or “Slaughter Bots” are already here. You CAN’T PUT TOOTHPASTE BACK IN THE TUBE! 

*Regulate LAWS – do not ban them

*They provide military advantages. They are force multipliers And can reach parts of the battlefield that people can not.

*LAWS can reduce casualties of civilians and soldiers. They are ethically preferable.

*Long term savings from using LAWS instead of human control of a plane or weapon mean less expensive military protection

LAWS are already in use by over a dozen countries

The military, cost and ethical advantages of LAWS

The US Department of Defense updates LAWS policies and defines what we need to do to regulate them

Efforts to ban LAWS are misguided. When United States is leading the way on a legal framework