WORLD ROUNDUPWill Fearless and Tireless Robots Lead to More Terrifying Wars? | Reopening the Pegasus Spying Scandal | India Delivers Supersonic Cruise Missiles to Philippines, and more

Published 24 April 2024

·  Will Fearless and Tireless Robots Lead to More Terrifying Wars?
The proliferation of autonomous weapons will affect the future conduct of warfare. But we do not know how.

·  Anti-Piracy Lessons from the Seychelles
The success of the Seychelles Coast Guard shows how regional states, however tiny, can play an outsized role not only in countering piracy but also in maritime security in general

·  Amid China Tensions, India Delivers Supersonic Cruise Missiles to Philippines
India and Philippines have ramped up defense cooperation as concerns over an increasingly assertive China deepen in both countries

·  Seven Teenagers Arrested in Australia Anti-Terrorism Probe
The suspects, who are between 15 to 17 years old, were associates of the 16-year-old boy charged in the April 15 attack on Assyrian Bishop

·  Spain: Court Reopens Investigation in Pegasus Spying Scandal
Spain and France will share information from their separate investigations into the use of Pegasus software to spy on their politicians

·  Is Iran’s Strategic Patience at an End?
While this round of conflict appears to be over, more escalatory situations are likely to occur, and the likelihood of an extensive war between Iran and Israel has indeed risen

Will Fearless and Tireless Robots Lead to More Terrifying Wars?  (Antonio Salinas, War on the Rocks)
While developing the nuclear bomb, Robert Oppenheimer and his colleagues expressed concerns about the possibility of igniting the Earth’s atmosphere. Today, with the emergence of autonomous weapons, we are faced with a similar risk of causing catastrophic damage by unleashing weapons that can kill without feeling fear. The consequences of unleashing such fearless weapons on the battlefield could be far more devastating than we can imagine. Indeed, humanity may come to miss the restraining and mitigating effects of fear, fatigue, and stress on the horrors of combat.
The proliferation of autonomous weapons will affect the future conduct of warfare. But we do not know how. After all, while new technologies are produced with instruction manuals, they do not come with strategy, doctrine, or tactics. Throughout military history, warfare has been wedded to humans who kill under the shadow of primordial danger and fear. People behave differently when they think they have a chance of dying. The combined psychological stressors of combat can aid in producing friction, which can impede the most intricately drawn “blue arrows” on any battle plan from coming to fruition. With this in mind, it is critical to consider how supplementing humans with autonomous weapons will impact the future face of battle.
Military technology may be on the cusp of a revolution that will forever change the face of warfare. Autonomous weapons, immune to the psychological factors of combat, are on the horizon and will usher in a new era of lethality. They will influence offensive and defensive operations and provide novel strategic options. The deployment of autonomous weapons has the potential to make warfare more efficient, but it also has the potential to make it more gruesome and terrible.

Anti-Piracy Lessons from the Seychelles  (Christian Buerger, Rayan Adeline, and Brendon J. Cannon, War on the Rocks)
Trainees of the Seychelles Coast Guard didn’t expect to be baptized by fire when they left Victoria harbor that morning. Yet there they stood (or ducked for cover) on the deck as 7.62×39-mm cartridges from the pirates’ AK-47s whizzed over their heads. Seychellois commandoes reacted with the sang-froid that comes from experience. They quickly turned the guns of their Trinkat-class patrol vessel on the pirates in the fishing trawler they had forcibly seized only hours before. The pirates didn’t have a chance; they dropped their weapons and surrendered.
The pirates of Somalia have returned, and small states in the region may hold the key to stopping them. Eight major piracy incidents have taken place since December 2023 and have kept the navies operating in the region busy on top of the intensifying threat posed to shipping by Houthi forces in the Red Sea. Five of these pirate attacks were successfully stopped or averted by military forces. They include a number of rescues by the powerful Indian Navy. But the Seychelles Coast Guard — the naval force of a small island state located off the Horn of Africa, strategically close to the home of notorious pirates — also played a starring role when it rescued the aforementioned fishing trawler that had been captured by Somali pirates in January of this year. (Cont.)