The Future is Limited: The Ethics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

The successful first flight of Boeing Australia’s ‘Loyal Wingman’ unmanned aircraft in early 2021 marks the introduction of a new and ground-breaking capability for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and the broader Australian Defence Force (ADF). Unlike existing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) employed by the RAAF such as MQ-4C Triton, Loyal Wingman’s unique leveraging of artificial intelligence (AI) in conjunction with its ability to carry a variety of payloads gives it the potential to become the ADF’s first fully autonomous lethal weapon system.

Regan Ho
23min

Can We Help You? To Speak To Your Advisor Press 1. If You Wish To Instigate a Backlash Press 2.

Can ‘advise and assist’ missions be conducted successfully without even setting foot on site?
Let’s look at the ethics and pitfalls of resolution by remote control in nonviolent conflicts.

Mathew Wann
10min

JPME With a Purpose: Breaking Through the Mythology

A personal search for the truth beyond the myths of Canada’s naval success reinforces the merits of Australia’s attitude to cultivating informed leadership through a robust JPME system that encourages the asking of uncomfortable questions.

Darin MacDonald
20min

War-Fighting and the Production of Non-Sense

The 2020 Defence Strategic Update provides a strategic demand signal for Defence to think equally and iteratively across shape, deter and respond. In this context, the notion of warfighting warrants a reconsideration in terms of the dominant position it occupies within the ADF. If this term no longer simply speaks to the activity of fighting a war, what does it actually do, and how does this affect Australia’s current approach to military strategy?

Phil Champion and Matthew Gill
10

The National Security Thinking of Australia and Singapore

Australia and Singapore have benefited from different “means” for the same “ends” in their national security reasoning to date, but China’s potential to overtake US influence in the Indo-Pacific region challenges both ways of thinking.

Fredie Tan
10

Watch this space: a whole new war domain

‘Spacepower’, the US Space Force’s first published doctrine to define its purpose, declares space a distinctive new warfighting domain – one in which Australia should play its own role.

Cameron Porter
5min

What ‘RIGHT’ Looks Like: Linking Command and Moral Authority

 

…you don’t follow an order because you know for sure it’s gonna work out. You do what you are told, because your CO has the moral authority that says you may not come back. But the cause is just, and fair, and necessary.

Nick Bosio
27min

An Introduction to Moral Injury in Defence

The difference between an individual who returns from a deployment morally injured, and an individual who returns unharmed, may be defined by whether they can answer the following questions: ‘what do I really believe? Who am I? Where do I belong? What is my purpose?’. Can you answer those questions?

Unsurprisingly, ‘knowing thyself’ is not a standardised training package delivered by Defence. Should it be so the ADF can craft efficient personnel encapsulating the totality of fitness: physical, intellectual, moral/ethical, and spiritual?

Samuel J. Cox
6mins
Infantry image

The Thinking Combat Brigade: A Dominant and Prestigious Force

Our command teams are charged with constant decision making, on which hinges the success and failure – the life or death – of battles, operations and campaigns. What if the frames of reference we all possess, imposed on us from our similar training, experiences, and culture, could be hindering our ability to make the best decisions? What if we are not as smart as we think we are?

Callum Muntz
10min
Battle image

Scharnhorst and Professional Mastery


To me, being 'professional' has meant striving for excellence at my everyday job. Until I attended Command and Staff Course at the Australian War College last year, I did not appreciate that being good at my job was not the same as being a military professional. The course broadened my understanding; being a professional requires one to embrace continual learning in all aspects of the profession. I became conscious that through professional mastery, individuals, even those in junior roles, can influence organisational outcomes beyond their job.

SQNLDR Agam Sheldon
3mins

Defence materiel sales - an exploration of the ethical challenges

(Note: This paper is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of Defence nor the Australian Army. I pose this paper to invoke discussion on the topic).


Research, development, manufacture and selling of military materiel, in particular systems that are designed to deliver kinetic effects and bring harm to others, has always been a contentious issue for members of the public of Western democratic nations - especially during long periods of perceived peace.

Anthony Watson
3mins
The Runway image

Air Force launches The Runway

The Runway, Air Force’s new professional development platform designed to foster a broad community of learning was launched on 31 Oct 19 by Commander Air Force Training Group, Air Commodore Glen Braz.

Air Force, Australian Defence Organisation and other government agency personnel are invited to engage with the curated content and take the opportunity to participate in a whole-of-government discussion around the key topics affecting the delivery of air and space power for Australia’s future.

The Runway
2mins