Role of Artificial Intelligence in Defence Strategy: Implications for Global and National Security

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Abstract

This study analyses the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the defence strategy of high-end technology states and its implications for regional states’ national security. The United States (US) in 2014 announced its Third Offset Strategy (TOS) which has conceived the role of AI and Machine Learning (ML) in bringing autonomy to its weapons systems to offset the threats emanating from its adversaries i.e. Russia and China. TOS envisions constant and consistent upgrading of the US forces, tactics and strategies to triumph on the battlefield. The US has been at the forefront to introduce innovations in its modern weaponry and their employment (tactics & strategy). Russia and China are also following the suit. The TOS is based on the development of AI and Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) which involve human-machine collaborative decision making, assisted human operations, advanced manned-un-manned systems and network enabled autonomous weapons. Apart from the US, Russia and China are also developing similar systems to counter the US’ TOS which may result in the new age arms race globally. The paper also analyses the development of LAWS and subsequent prospects of giving autonomy to nuclear forcerelated systems alongside the deterrent value of nuclear weapons might result in future conflicts that may be detrimental to international security and national security of the states.

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