Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has a vision of robotic killing machines prowling the land, skies, and the seas in the not so distant furture.
They would be fully automated, seeking out and engaging with enemy robots across every domain of war. Their human handlers would overseeing the action at a distance while conflicts are fought and won by machines.
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Far from science fiction, this is the vision of Gen. Mark Milley, who has been claiming since 2016 that the US military would field substantial robotic ground forces and AI capabilities by 2030
The Epoch Times reports: The United States, according to Milley, is in the throes of one of the myriad revolutions in military affairs that have spanned history.
“We’re at a pivotal moment in history from a military standpoint. We’re at what amounts to a fundamental change in the very character of war.”
Robotic Armies in 10 Years
Many would no doubt be more comfortable with the idea of robots battling for the control of Earth if it were in a science-fiction novel or on a movie screen rather than on the list of priorities of the military’s highest-ranking officer.
Milley believes, however, that the world’s most powerful armies will be predominantly robotic within the next decade, and he means for the United States to be the first across that cybernetic Rubicon.
“Over the next ten to fifteen years, you’ll see large portions of advanced countries’ militaries become robotic,” Milley said. “If you add robotics with artificial intelligence and precision munitions and the ability to see at range, you’ve got the mix of a real fundamental change.”
“That’s coming. Those changes, that technology … we are looking at inside of 10 years.”
That means that the United States has “five to seven years to make some fundamental modifications to our military,” Milley says, because the nation’s adversaries are seeking to deploy robotics and AI in the same manner, but with Americans in their sights.
The nation that gets there first, that deploys robotics and AI together in a cohesive way, he says, will dominate the next war.
“I would submit that the country, the nation-state, that takes those technologies and adapts them most effectively and optimizes them for military operations, that country is probably going to have a decisive advantage at the beginning of the next conflict,” Milley said.
The global consequences of such a shift in the character of war are difficult to overstate.
Milley compared the ongoing struggle to form a new way of war to the competition that occurred between the world wars
In that era, Milley says, all the nations of Europe had access to new technologies ranging from mechanized vehicles to radio to chemical weapons. All of them could have developed the unified concept of maneuver warfare that replaced the attrition warfare which had defined World War I.
But only one, he said, first integrated their use into a bona fide new way of war.
“That country, Nazi Germany, overran Europe in a very, very short period of time … because they were able to take those technologies and put them together in a doctrine which we now know as Blitzkrieg,” he said.
Milley, and the Pentagon with him, hopes to do the same now by bringing together emergent capabilities like robotics, AI, cyber and space platforms, and precision munitions into a cohesive doctrine of war.
By being the first to integrate these technologies into a new concept, Milley says, the United States can rule the future battlefield.
To that end, the Pentagon is experimenting with new unmanned aerial, ground, and undersea vehicles, as well as seeking to exploit the pervasiveness of non-military smart technologies from watches to fitness trackers.