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Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) P. W. Singer

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  • Publisher: The Penguin Press
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 249mm x 48mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1594201986
  • ISBN 13: 9781594201981
  • Sales rank: 155,532

Product description

We are just beginning to see a massive shift in military technology that threatens to make the stuff of "I, Robot" and the "Terminator" all too real. More than seven thousand robotic systems are now in Iraq. Pilots in Nevada are remotely killing terrorists in Afghanistan. Scientists are debating just how smart - and how lethal - to make their current robotic prototypes. And many of the most renowned science fiction authors are secretly consulting for the Pentagon on the next generation. Blending historic evidence with interviews from the field, Singer vividly shows that as these technologies multiply, they will have profound effects on the front lines as well as on the politics back home. Moving humans off the battlefield makes wars easier to start, but more complex to fight. Replacing men with machines may save some lives, but will lower the morale and psychological barriers to killing. The 'warrior ethos', which has long defined soldiers' identity, will erode, as will the laws of war that have governed military conflict for generations. While his analysis is unnerving, there's an irresistible gee-whiz quality to the innovations Singer uncovers. "Wired for War" travels from Iraq to see these robots in combat to the latter-day 'skunk works' in America's suburbia, where tomorrow's technologies of war are quietly being designed. In Singer's hands, the future of war is as fascinating as it is frightening.

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Author information

Dr Singer is considered one the world's leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare. He has written for the full range of major media and journals, including Boston Globe, L.A. Times, New Times, amongst many others. He is also the author of Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry and Children at War. He is also a founder and organizer of the US-Islamic World Forum, a global conference that brings together leaders from across the US and the Muslim world.

Customer reviews

By ILIAN VIRGIL 14 Mar 2011 5

This book is an excellent view on how robotics is changing the world today. It is well researched and also goes into the history of how we got into this situation and where we are heading. This is not about some possible far future. This is about military robots that are actually deployed today. They say war never changes but when I read about how people wage war in 9-5 jobs through robot drone fleets I started to doubt that.

While 80% of the book deals with these topics the last chapters are dedicated to the state of warfare and society today. In them the author veers off from the main subject and speculates heavily on how the society of the future will look.

Review quote

?PW Singer. . .has written what is likely to be the definitive work on this subject for some time to come. He has a record of drawing out the underlying trends in modern warfare, with previous books on child soldiers and the increasing use of mercenaries. "Wired for War" will confirm his reputation: it is riveting and comprehensive, encompassing every aspect of the rise of military robotics, from the historical to the ethical.? ?" Financial Times" ?[A] riveting, important book . . . Singer, at age 29 the youngest scholar named a senior fellow to the Brookings Institute, put four years into writing "Wired for War." It is the only book in my reading experience that quotes Immanuel Kant and Biggie Smalls with equal enthusiasm. The resulting book is an intoxicating, encyclopedic trip - made intensely readable by all the colorful characters Singer salts along this story. . . . I will be shelving my copy next to two other books that remade my world view: Tracy Kidder's "The Sould