"riveting and comprehensive, encompassing every aspect of the rise of military robotics." —Financial Times
In Wired for War, P. W. Singer explores the greatest revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb: the dawn of robotic warfare. We are on the cusp of a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make real the stuff of I, Robot and The Terminator. Blending historical evidence with interviews of an amazing cast of characters, Singer shows how technology is changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and the ethics that surround war itself. Traveling from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to modern-day "skunk works" in the midst of suburbia, Wired for War will tantalize a wide readership, from military buffs to policy wonks to gearheads.
About the Author
P.W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, has worked in the Pentagon and consulted for the departments of Defense and State, the CIA, and Congress. He is the author of two previous books, Corporate Warriors and Children at War.
Brookings Institute fellow Singer (Children at War) believes that "we resist trying to research and understand change" in the making of war. Robotics promises to be the most comprehensive instrument of change in war since the introduction of gunpowder. Beginning with a brief and useful survey of robotics, Singer discusses its military applications during WWII, the arming and autonomy of robots at the turn of the century, and the broad influence of robotics on near-future battlefields. How, for example, can rules of engagement for unmanned autonomous machines be created and enforced? Can an artificial intelligence commit a war crime? Arguably more significant is Singer's provocative case that war itself will be redefined as technology creates increasing physical and emotional distance from combat. As robotics diminishes war's risks the technology diminishes as well the higher purposes traditionally used to justify it. Might that reduce humanity's propensity for war making? Or will robotics make war less humane by making it less human? Singer has more questions than answers-but it is difficult to challenge his concluding admonition to question and study the technologies of military robotics-while the chance remains. (Jan. 26)
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The Armchair General
. . . Full of vignettes on the use of robotics, first-person interviews with end-users, what has occurred in the robotics industry in its support of the nation, and what is "coming soon." Some of the new ideas are just downright mind-blowing . . .
In his latest work, Wired for War, Singer confesses his passion for science fiction as he introduces us to a glimpse of things to come-the new technologies that will shape wars of the future. His new book addresses some ominous and little-discussed questions about the military, technology, and machinery.
Wired for War is a sprawling, eye-opening, important look at an evolving technology that promises to change the future in profound ways. Read it. Be prepared.
Battlefield robotics is transforming modern war and saving American lives, according to this enthusiastic account. Brookings Institution senior fellow Singer (Children at War, 2005, etc) begins with a history of the crude, radio-controlled unmanned vehicles and planes of World Wars I and II. Technology made quantum advances over the following decades, but resistance from military leaders hobbled development. Leading the opposition were U.S. Air Force generals, who took for granted that any respectable warplane had a pilot. By the '80s the logjam had broken, and the 1991 Gulf War saw the much-publicized use of "smart bombs" as well as unmanned drones buzzing over Iraqi positions to transmit their observations. America's 21st-century wars feature ingenious battlefield robots that peer around corners, search for the enemy in dangerous caves and inspect roadside bombs while their operators remain at a safe distance. Overhead, vastly improved drones search for suspicious activity and occasionally rain down destruction. The indefatigable author crisscrossed the country, interviewing engineers, soldiers, politicians and generals to deliver a vivid picture of the current controversies and dazzling possibilities of war in the digital age. As recent headlines on civilian deaths from American air attacks in Afghanistan reveal, many kinks remain to be ironed out. Tempering the optimism of the introductory chapters, Singer devotes much of his text to the flaws of these new devices and steep learning curve involved in employing them. He also reminds readers that even the most backward enemies possess a surprising ability to adapt. He points out what every thoughtful reader knows: Confronted bydevastating, high-tech American technology, Iraqi insurgents haven't scurried into oblivion, and the Taliban in Afghanistan are not retreating but advancing. An engrossing picture of a new class of weapon that may revolutionize future wars but has not greatly daunted our current opponents.
What People Are Saying
"Weaving together immaculate academic research with a fan boy's lexicon of popular culture, Wired for War looks at the people and technologies beta-testing tomorrow's wars today. The result is a book both hilarious and hair-raising that poses profound ethical questions about the creation and use of ever more powerful killing machines."--(Gideon Yago, writer, MTV News)
|Author's Note: Why a Book on Robots and War?||p. 1|
|The Change We Are Creating|
|Introduction: Scenes from a Robot War||p. 19|
|Smart Bombs, Norma Jeane, and Defecating Ducks: A Short History of Robotics||p. 42|
|Robotics for Dummies||p. 66|
|To Infinity and Beyond: The Power of Exponential Trends||p. 94|
|Coming Soon to a Battlefield Near You: The Next Wave of Warbots||p. 109|
|Always in the Loop? The Arming and Autonomy of Robots||p. 123|
|Robotic Gods: Our Machine Creators||p. 135|
|What Inspires Them: Science Fiction's Impact on Science Reality||p. 150|
|The Refuseniks: The Roboticists Who Just Say No||p. 170|
|What Change Is Creating for Us|
|The Big Cebrowski and the Real RMA: Thinking About Revolutionary Technologies||p. 179|
|"Advanced" Warfare: How We Might Fight with Robots||p. 205|
|Robots That Don't Like Apple Pi: How the U.S. Could Lose the Unmanned Revolution||p. 237|
|Open-Source Warfare: College Kids, Terrorists, and Other New Users of Robots at War||p. 261|
|Losers and Luddites: The Changing Battlefields Robots Will Fight On and the New Electronic Sparks of War||p. 279|
|The Psychology of Warbots||p. 297|
|YouTube War: The Public and Its Unmanned Wars||p. 315|
|Changing the Experience of War and the Warrior||p. 326|
|Command and Control...Alt-Delete: New Technologies and Their Effect on Leadership||p. 344|
|Who Let You in the War? Technology and the New Demographics of Conflict||p. 360|
|Digitizing the Laws of War and Other Issues of (Un) Human Rights||p. 382|
|A Robot Revolt? Talking About Robot Ethics||p. 413|
|Conclusion: The Duality of Robots and Humans||p. 428|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 26th December 2009
Dimensions (cm): 22.6 x 15.4 x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.552