Ethics of Automated Warfare
What are the legal and ethical challenges of AI?
With the release of advanced AI tools for generating text and images, 2022 was perhaps the year when it became clear to a broader public that we are on the threshold of a technological revolution with unknown consequences for politics and society. But will artificial intelligence lead us into a more prosperous future or have we opened Pandora’s box? There is no doubt that regulation is necessary to ensure that the technology will not be used to undermine democracy and human rights. This is true in the realm of security and defence as well, where novel applications AI such as drones and computer-assisted enhancement of military command-and-control processes raise difficult ethical questions. An essay series by the Centre for International Governance Innovation takes a look at the challenges these new technological developments pose for international security policy.
The articles published by the Canadian think tank examine how AI technology will continue to advance within the field of defence and security, what impact it will have on the geopolitical landscape and what ethical considerations are associated with the deployment of autonomous weapons. Some of the topics covered are AI and the future of deterrence, drones and non-state actors, civilian data in cyber conflict and the regulation of AI and autonomous weapons.
Read more in the essay series “The Ethics of Automated Warfare and Artificial Intelligence”, published on 28 November 2022
Wars to Come
Where will Europe have to defend itself?
Vulnerability to intrastate conflict
Not long ago, few would have thought that we would see a war of aggression in Europe in the 21st century. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shattered many certitudes and has led to a fundamental reorientation of European security policy. Now that defence budgets have been increased, how should they be used? What are the threats to Europe’s security, beyond the immediate future? A new study by the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies has examined questions like these, conducting the largest survey of European defence experts since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
In their study, the authors of the Dutch think tank analyse where Europe is most likely to intervene militarily in the next ten years, where to expect armed conflict and instability and how European interests will be affected. For this purpose, the authors interviewed more than 80 experts from 22 countries, in addition to employing further quantitative and qualitative methods. According to the study, four global trends will shape the next ten years: an intensification of interstate strategic competition, especially between the major powers, the advancement and proliferation of new weapon technologies, political and social volatility and the effects of the climate crisis.
Read more in the study “Wars to come, Europeans to act. A multi method foresight study into Europe’s military future”, veröffentlicht am 18. Oktober 2022.
The Race for AI Supremacy
New export controls raise the stakes in the US tech competition with China
In early October 2022, the United States announced new restrictions on the export of AI chips and semiconductor technologies to China. The measures aim at preventing China from using artificial intelligence for military applications and mark a significant escalation in the technological competition between the two countries. A short report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies explains the new policy, its effects as well as open questions in US-China tech rivalry.
The new restrictions mark a turning point in the economic relations between the two countries, according to author Gregory C. Allen, an expert at the Washington think tank. The US government is focused on retaining its control over four key “chokepoints” in the global semiconductor technology supply chain: AI chips designs, electronic design automation software, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and equipment components. It is thus trying to prevent China from buying or producing high-end chips needed for AI applications. The Biden administration’s policy decision is of enormous significance for the strategic competition between the two global powers, according to Allen: Along with 24 February, it will perhaps be 7 October that will go down in the history books for the year 2022.
Read more in the study “Choking Off China’s Access to the Future of AI”, published on 11 October 2022, and in an NZZ-Interview from 5 January 2023.
Bundeswehr of the Future
Responsibility and Artificial Intelligence
The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has thrust the question of Germany’s and NATO’s military defence capability into the political spotlight overnight. The proclaimed “Zeitenwende” is only the first step to making the Bundeswehr fit to fulfil its constitutional duties. But the operational capability of the armed forces does not only require new weapon systems and equipment; the Bundeswehr must fundamentally adapt to the 21st century, especially in terms of defence technology and human responsibility in the digital transformation. In view of the Bundeswehr’s role as a parliamentary army and the guiding principle of soldiers as “citizens in uniform”, it is imperative to conceive the Bundeswehr of the future in terms of society as a whole and the concept of “Innere Führung”.
In the project „Bundeswehr der Zukunft“, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung takes a comprehensive look at the future of the Bundeswehr. The foundation discusses the Bundeswehr of the 21st century with renowned experts from a wide range of disciplines, taking into account the digital transformation of defence technology and AI-driven weapon systems as well as the democratic values and strategic interests of Germany and its allies. A new collection of essays examines the Bundeswehr of the future from historical, political, military, social, ethical and legal perspectives.
Read more in the volume “Bundeswehr der Zukunft. Verantwortung und Künstliche Intelligenz” (in German), published on 17 January 2023.
Who are the actors and how do they operate in Ukraine?
Before the Russian invasion began, many Western observers assumed that Russia would inflict substantial damage with cyberattacks prior and in parallel to a military attack on Ukraine. But as with conventional warfare, Russia’s cyber capabilities have been greatly overestimated. What are the reasons for this? And what have Russian cyber operations in Ukraine looked like so far? A study by the Center for European Policy Analysis offers insight into the complex web of Russian cyber actors, while a study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has examined Russian cyberattacks and their impact.
In their study, the two authors of the Washington think tank CEPA offer an overview of Russian cyber institutions and their history. The central actors are the Federal Security Service (FSB), which plays the most important role in cyber operations, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Russian military and its intelligence service (GRU) as well as private companies and the Presidential Administration. The latter coordinates cyber operations together with the Security Council. Unlike the US Cyber Command, however, there are no clear duties or systems of reporting, making Russian cyber operations subject to political maneuvering, differing reporting standards and varying communication channels. Even though Russia has greatly expanded its cyber capabilities since 1990, there has been little change to Russian command-and-control structures.
In the Carnegie study, author Jon Bateman analyses the military effectiveness of Russian cyber operations in Ukraine and the reasons why they have not had more impact. He examines both destructive cyber attacks and intelligence collection. Russia’s ineffectiveness, he argues, is due to shortcomings in Russian cyber capabilities and decision-making processes as well as resilient Ukrainian infrastructure and foreign cyber support. In light of this, the expert asks: What are the lessons for other states?
Read more in the study “Russian Cyberwarfare: Unpacking the Kremlin’s Capabilities”, published on 8 September 2022, and in the study “Russia’s Wartime Cyber Operations in Ukraine: Military Impacts, Influences, and Implications”, published on 16 December 2022.
Cyber defense in the EU
What is its role in the European security strategy?
- United States
- United KingdomUK
- South Korea
- North Korea
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- North Korea
Cyberspace has turned into an arena for conflict and strategic competition between major powers. At the same time, our societies and economies are more digital than ever and thus more vulnerable to cyber attacks. In 2021, 92 per cent of households in the EU had internet access, 20 per cent more than just ten years earlier. Moreover, the value of digital goods and services produced in the EU could exceed € 2.8 trillion in 2030, which is nearly 21 per cent of the EU’s current economy. Not only cybercriminals, but also state actors increasingly pose a threat to the security of EU citizens and businesses. A new collection of essays by the European Union Institute for Security Studies examines the evolution of the EU’s cyber defence policy and analyses the role of cyber defence within the Union’s broader security strategy.
The publication by the Paris-based think tank brings together a group of experts to answer the question of how the EU should shape its cybersecurity policy. Special attention is paid to military aspects: What is the role of armed forces in the event of cyber operations that have large-scale disruptive effects on a country’s economy or critical infrastructure? What rules govern military operations involving cyberspace?
Read more in the Chaillot Paper “A Language of Power? Cyber Defence in the European Union”, published in November 2022.
Comments on the military and geopolitical impact of drones
On the security implications of Sino-Russian military cooperation
On 4 February 2022, less than three weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in the run-up to the Olympic Games. In a joint statement, the heads of state declared that the friendship between China and Russia has “no limits”. Much has happened since then, but despite political differences the strategic alliance between the two countries has held so far. What is the state of military cooperation between China and Russia and what does it mean for the West? In a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a group of experts analyses the security implications of a closer military alignment of the two powers.
The Washington-based think tank examines Sino-Russian cooperation across four main areas: arms sales and technology transfers, military exercises, space and cyber warfare, and hybrid tactics. For this purpose, the authors analysed the writings of Chinese and Russian strategic thinkers, which were translated into English for the first time and made available on the website of the CSIS project “Interpret: China”.
Read more in the study “Understanding the Broader Transatlantic Security Implications of Greater Sino-Russian Military Alignment”, published on 8 December 2022.
Contributors to this issue were:
Team KALUZA + SCHMID Studio, Bogdan Miftakhov, Johannes Sudau, Kristin Wesemann, Chrystyna Rey
(1) Momani, Bessma, Aaron Shull, Jean-François Bélanger et al. The Ethics of Automated Warfare and Artificial Intelligence. Centre for International Governance Innovation, November 2022.
(2) Boswinkel, Lotje and Tim Sweijs. Wars to Come, Europeans to Act. A Multimethod Foresight Study into Europe’s Military Future. The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, October 2022.
(3) Gregory C. Allen. Choking Off China’s Access to the Future of AI. Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 2022.
(4) Bundeswehr der Zukunft: Verantwortung und Künstliche Intelligenz. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, January 2023.
Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan. Russian Cyberwarfare: Unpacking the Kremlin’s Capabilities. Center for European Policy Analysis, September 2022.
Jon Bateman. Russia’s Wartime Cyber Operations in Ukraine: Military Impacts, Influences, and Implications. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, December 2022.
(6) Pawlak, Patryk and François Delerue (ed.). A Language of Power? Cyber Defence in the European Union. European Union Institute for Security Studies, November 2022.
Scott Savitz. “The Age of Uncrewed Surface Vessels”. RAND, 15 November 2022.
Steven Feldstein. “The Larger Geopolitical Shift Behind Iran’s Drone Sales to Russia”. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 26 October 2022.
Rueben Dass. “Militants and Drones: A Trend That is Here to Stay”. Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, 6 September 2022.
(8) Bergmann, Max and Andrew Lohsen (ed.). Understanding the Broader Transatlantic Security Implications of Greater Sino-Russian Military Alignment. Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 2022.