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Germany says it won’t use killer robots, but soldiers are torn

February 16, 2018

Autonomous weapons remain incredibly controversial, and the debate even extends to the soldiers that might be working with them.

Germany says no: At this week’s Munich Security Conference, notes Reuters, the head of Germany’s Cyber and Information Space Command spoke out against killer robots. “We have a very clear position,” explained Lieutenant General Ludwig Leinhos. “We have no intention of procuring ... autonomous systems.”

Soldiers are mixed:  Politico notes that while many soldiers may support the use of killer robots, Leinhos isn’t alone in his views. Marcel Dickow, an autonomous weapons expert from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, says there’s a “rift running through essentially every military” about them right now.

But: Organizations like the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and the Future of Life Institute have been lobbying the United Nations to ban autonomous weapons for years. While 22 countries have said they won’t use them, the UN has yet to take any action.

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