By: Matej Markič / Nova24tv
On Friday, members of the Slovenian National Assembly discussed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Fully Autonomous Weapons. The essential feature of lethal autonomous weapons is that they are not controlled by a human (a member of the armed forces) but instead operate independently on the basis of pre-designed algorithms, which is basically a synonym for AI – artificial intelligence.
Although there have been numerous public controversies related to artificial intelligence itself, as well as its reliability in recent years, it is an indisputable fact that with the advancement of technology, AI is becoming more and more sophisticated, accurate and reliable. The most famous example of the use of artificial intelligence in everyday life are the so-called autonomous vehicles or driverless cars, which have been taking on more and more tasks from one year to the next, which previously had to be performed by the driver themself.
In this area, the automotive industry is constantly making new breakthroughs; in the last year alone, the companies Audi and Honda had produced the Audi A8 and Honda Legend Sedan cars, which achieve autonomous level 3, which means that the driver can completely remove their hands from the steering wheel while driving.
And if the vast majority of people would probably have a lot of confidence in a robot that has done tens of thousands of hours of driving simulations and has travelled millions of kilometres with its driving, a similar thing is true when it comes to autonomous combat systems. Unmanned aerial vehicles (the so-called drones), which are only partially manned, have proven to be more reliable than real airplanes with a pilot in the cockpit. The advantages of using drones (which would also operate completely autonomously) over conventional manned aircraft are truly enormous: from avoiding the risk of crew death in the event of a plane crash to significantly greater precision, which in turn leads to an exponential reduction in collateral damage or civilian casualties. This was most evident in practice in early January 2020, in the removal of the terrorist Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, when the US drone MQ-9 Reaper killed the general with almost surgical precision, with no collateral damage occurring during the operation and with no civilian casualties. On the other hand, many countries and terrorist movements continue to use unreliable combat systems, which, however, often cause enormous collateral damage. This was also the case in a series of rocket attacks made by the terrorist group Hamas on Israel, which they carried out from the Gaza Strip, using unreliable and unguided missiles, about a third of which did not reach Israel at all, but instead landed inside the Gaza Strip, where they caused many civilian casualties and property damage.
The Levica party wants to make countries where human rights are being massively violated, the world’s police officers
Despite all these more than obvious advantages of autonomous defence systems, which are increasingly based on artificial intelligence, the radical Levica party (the Left) strongly advocated the signing of the absurd Treaty on the Prohibition of Fully Autonomous Weapon Systems. They posted an article on their official website about what a disaster this government move supposedly is. The article also included the usual far-left nebulous ideas about the imperialistic forces that will benefit most from these systems in the long run.
Interestingly, in addition to the United States, only the European Union (which does not even have its own army) and Japan (which no sane person would ever consider an imperialist country, since it has not had an official army since the end of World War II, but only has the so-called self-defence forces, which it can use exclusively on the territory of its own country) were included in the list of these so-called imperialist forces, however, they conveniently “forgot” about Russia, Iran and China, which are actually interfering in conflicts around the world with their armed forces and have been developing autonomous warfare systems for years (It has also been proven that Russia used these systems in the Syrian Civil War, to kill Assad’s opposition).
Of course, they made sure to also include the usual left-wing anti-NATO hysteria in their article, writing about how the North Atlantic Alliance was supposedly ruthlessly massacring people across Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq with drones. In this case, they once again conveniently omitted the rather important fact that the mentioned drone attacks were not indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population but well-thought-out and precisely carried out actions against dangerous terrorists, such as the aforementioned General Solejmani.
But let’s be honest, blood and death have never been an unknown concept to the left-wing radicals throughout our history, and the Levica party’s horror at possible deaths in this case, is nothing more than a farce. It is unfortunate, however, that the Levica party would be willing to use Slovenian soldiers for “cannon fodder” without hesitation. The only rational explanation for such twisted views on autonomous defence systems by the most controversial party in the Slovenian parliament is their tacit desire to expose members of the Slovenian army to mortal dangers and their desire for maximum collateral damage (including dead civilians) in the event of armed conflict. It is also not surprising that the people who did not wear military uniforms for a single day in their life and who have only “fought” with cycling and pathetic whining in front of the parliament are the ones who would be willing to expose soldiers and civilians to death.