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This essay reviewing Striking Power, John Yoo and Jeremy Rabkin's new book on the legal and policy implications of autonomous weapons, takes issue with the book’s assumptions and; therefore its conclusions. The essay argues that, because of technological and ethical limitations, discriminate and effective use of autonomous weapons may not serve as an adequate substitute for traditional manpower-based military forces. It further argues that traditional conceptions of international law could prove more durable than Yoo and Rabkin suggest, and finally it concludes by suggesting that a grand strategy relying primarily on technological elites managing autonomous weapons actually threatens to undermine our common democracy and its reliance on mass citizen mobilization.



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