How Transition In Warfare Tactics Is Reshaping International Security – OpEd
By Saba Kiran
Warfare has always been a fluid idea that has undergone considerable changes as time and technological development have progressed. The introduction of new technology like drones, cyberwarfare, and artificial intelligence (AI) has led to some significant changes in how wars are fought and handled in recent years. These developments have fundamentally changed how war is fought, which has led to many questions about what this means for global security.
Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have completely changed the combat environment. These remotely operated weapons may be used for a number of operations, such as airstrikes, targeted killings, and monitoring. Drones provide a number of benefits, including the ability to deploy fast, a low operating cost, and most significantly a reduction in the possibility of losing people in battle. But the expanding usage of drones has also prompted a number of moral and legal questions.
The use of drones may often result in the death of civilians. Drone strikes have repeatedly led to the death or injury of uninvolved bystanders, despite the purported accuracy that these devices are designed to provide. Widespread criticism has resulted from this, and the morality of utilising such technology has also come into question. Furthermore, the deployment of drones enables countries to conduct clandestine war, making it challenging for the general populace to hold their governments responsible for their deeds. The international community must establish thorough legal structures to control the use of drones in conflict.
Another paradigm change in warfare technology is cyberwarfare. It describes the use of computer systems to interfere with an enemy’s infrastructure, steal confidential information, or undermine crucial services. Cyberwarfare has become a powerful tool in today’s linked world, as national infrastructure is more and more dependent on digital networks.
Power grids, healthcare systems, and banking networks may all be severely damaged by cyberattacks, which can lead to general chaos and disruption. Due to its anonymous character, cyberwarfare is not only difficult to protect against but also impossible to identify the offenders. Due to the possibility of using it to target a foe’s civilian population, this lack of responsibility has the potential to intensify wars. The international community has to make investments in enhancing cybersecurity safeguards, encouraging collaboration and openness, and establishing guidelines for conduct in cyberspace.
The third pillar reshaping the face of contemporary combat is artificial intelligence. AI can improve already-in-use weapons and help create new ones. A worrying trend is the emergence of autonomous weapons, which use AI to locate and engage targets devoid of human interaction.
Often referred to as “killer robots,” autonomous weapons raise the possibility of a conflict without human participation. Because these weapons may operate without human intervention, there is a risk of unplanned or uncontrolled war. Delegating choices involving life and death to robots raises important ethical considerations. The international community must adopt rules to control the creation and use of autonomous weapons.
International security is significantly impacted by how combat is changing. The difficulties for global security grow as a result of how unpredictable and hard to control war is owing to these technical breakthroughs. Conflict prediction and prevention are becoming harder to do, which makes it harder to sustain global peace and security.
These advances provide both opportunities and risks. They may boost a nation’s defensive capabilities, but they also make conflict prevention and resolution more challenging and complicated. Thus, in order to preserve peace and security, the international community must adapt to this changing environment by developing new strategies and procedures.
The creation of international legal and normative frameworks to control the use of these technologies in combat is one of the most important challenges. International law is now seriously deficient in areas like drone warfare, cyberwarfare, and autonomous weaponry. Although these technologies may be used in accordance with certain current rules of war, there are still numerous uncontrolled elements of their usage. A thorough international legal framework is required to handle the particular problems these technologies present and guarantee that their usage complies with international humanitarian law.
To handle these new kinds of warfare, there is a need for more international collaboration in addition to legal control. This entails exchanging knowledge and best practises, working together on cybersecurity, and preventing the spread of hazardous technology. This collaboration may be greatly facilitated by international organisations like the United Nations.
More accountability and openness are also required. Drones and cyberwarfare in particular may be utilised in ways that are difficult to identify and attribute. Because of this, it is challenging to hold nations responsible for their deeds. States should be urged to utilise these technologies in a more open and transparent manner, and procedures should be set up to look into and hold responsible those who use them carelessly.
Also crucial are creating awareness and promoting education. The consequences of these technologies for military and global security are not well known by many individuals, including governmental officials and members of the general public. To guarantee that choices concerning their usage are well-informed and thought out, there is a need for further study and open discourse on these subjects.
Investments in defensive capacities are also necessary. States must make investments in their capacity to defend against these new kinds of conflict as they proliferate. This entails making investments in cybersecurity, creating drone assault defences, and learning how to deal with autonomous weaponry.