lethal weapons

· Include a title page
· Must be typed, double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 pt Times New Roman font
· Must include a bibliography; use the citation style of your choice
· Length: 1200 words

One of the most recent debates in military policy involves the use of lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS). These are robots with artificial intelligence capabilities for use in combat operations. A number of countries have signed an international agreement calling for a ban on the development of these weapons while other countries, notably the major military powers, have refused to sign on. Scholars, representatives from humanitarian aid organizations and many others have spoken out against the development of LAWS but these weapons are actively under development by many countries and have been used already in limited ways. In this assignment, you are asked to research the issue of LAWS, examine the arguments for and against their development, and make policy recommendations to the government based on your research. The stance you take on the development of LAWS is entirely up to you but it should be based on research that weighs arguments for and against. Your work will be evaluated on your use of evidence and argumentation, not on which side you take in the debate.

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· Conduct online research into the issue of lethal autonomous weapons. Include at least 5 sources that inform you about this issue. It will be easier to find sources condemning the development of these weapons than sources that argue in their favour. There are a number of sites that discuss the issue including:


Why the world needs to regulate autonomous weapons, and soon

· Remember that the assignment does not ask for your personal opinion but rather asks for an analysis that draws upon your sociological/social science training to address questions such as: Where do these weapons come from? How do they operate? What is their function within the broader military and political sphere? What impact will they have on warfare, human beings, and societies? Based on the above, should they be developed, should they be banned, or is it possible to have some compromise between these two positions?
· Your paper should include an introduction in which you set out the issue, a brief discussion of what LAWS are and how they would ideally operate on the battlefield, a section on arguments in favour of LAWs, a section on the anti-LAWS arguments, and a set of policy recommendations on how governments should proceed, a concluding statement in which you summarize and justify your perspective.
· Be careful to cite all sources that you use to avoid plagiarism.

· Develop a strong title that relates to your policy review and the issues involved.
· Provide a clear introductory paragraph in which you state what LAWS are and what the general policy questions are, and what you will be doing in your paper.
· Reference and provide support from at least two academic sources, other than lecture material (these can come from course material). I recommend taking a more in-depth look at P.W. Singer’s Wired for War.
· Limit yourself to no more than 2 quotations per page and make sure that you cite your quotes to avoid plagiarism. The majority of your work should be written in your own prose.

Grading Rubric

Effective introduction and organization of the paper……..…………….……………………………………/3

Analysis, presentation of pros and cons, effectiveness of recommendations ……………………/15

Writing clarity and bibliography
(including spelling, grammar, a clear bibliography)……………………………………………………………../2

Total…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. /20

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