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tv   Striking Power  CSPAN  September 17, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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>> guest: thank you. ..
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two. the co-author with jeremy repton. before supplies run out. that is a joke. and we are so pleased to have with us our two co- panel to list mister lewis is a fellow at the strategic initiative. and also a long background in these issues in a number of governmental agencies that they were just complaining within the united nations.
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we were both really grateful to have them with us. i will describe some of the themes of the book. they will have about 20 to 25 minutes for your questions and answers and discussion. with that said, let me welcome all of you who are not from here. i could not think of a better place to talk about future technology that are prototype starship. it is an amazing facility. looks like we're already in the space age right here. i like to think lindsay -- lindsay weiss. and of course to the ai
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leadership in staff. in providing a nice home for them to do the research here. the book basically has three points to it. one is that a lot of the dances that advances that we are seen in technology in the economy are also coming to military weapon tree and so if you think about some of the major advances that you are seen. you are also seen great advances in robotics the unmanned areas that we have now seen that they are going to provide to military affairs. much more complex drones, able vessels of the don't need a very large cruise. drones that can operate in the air autonomously even ground
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vehicles and of course in tight missile defenses which is in the news. cyber also presents just as we see the aggregation and rapid manipulation of data. and these algorithms to carry out everything from trading to electrical systems to the manager of social media and also seen in the military world. it was allegedly created by the united states and israel. of course they have also been on the receiving end. and other alleged russian interference with the u.s. electrical system. also been on the defenses in cyber.
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in just a course of a few years. a rapid drop in the cost launching satellites into space thanks to private enterprise to space ex. at x. at the same time there is a lot of reluctance and concern concerned about the deployment of these technologies in warfare elon musk who himself is the have of the space x and the have of tesla recently issued a letter to weeks ago. with the artificial intelligence and weapon tree. until three years ago. one of the founders of apple. in thousands of other scientists. to also call for regulation and prohibition and they fear
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a future where robots will make decisions on how to wage war where they will make decisions on whether to try to assassinate enemy leaders or attack ethnic groups or to invade or occupy territory. in a way it is a response to the efforts to create a ban or heavily regulate. we just think such efforts are doomed to failure. there has been a big advance in economics that is also technology that has also been married to similar changes in military affairs there has always been an effort to try to stop or abandon those new developments and have also been a failure. world war i.
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it really deployed for a first time in the broadway. the economic progress made during the industrial revolution. he saw the introduction of aircraft, submarines. people called for the banning of a lot of these new weapons. the only what that really succeeded was a ban on they were widely used. the second point we argue we should not actually. these new weapons. the past technical effects. it has been to make work cheaper more mass-produced. more destructive and less discriminant in the sense that it was discriminated less between civilians. we think the new technologies
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actually have an opposite effect. with drones, cyber into space weapons the use of force could be much more precise less harmful. the third thing we would argue is that the main critics of these new technologies that come from some of the technologies themselves from the tech ceos have come from the united states nations. many academics. in the field. officials of other governments. their main argument has been that work is going to become too easy when you can launch it by just pressing a button. or when you can send a robot off to do the fighting.
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why not ban these weapons to make work harder and more difficult to reduce were overall. that is not an argument about the technology it's really an argument about the purpose of war. in the modern age. whether there has been too much more or too little war. and so one thing we argue is that north korea or rwanda or syria we have examples where countries feel stuck between passivity or the step of deployed large amount of truth into resources and going there. these kind of technologies can provide nations with options in between doing nothing and going to full-blown war. it will hopefully lead to uses of force. they promote international order.
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or allow great powers to have those disputes. let me just close their before turning over to the commentators we are so welcome to have them here. a lot of the fear of a new weapon is because james cameron is too good of a director. and he has convinced all of us that the terminator movies are what we should really fear. if we go down this route they will be left to terminator robots. they will somehow be lost. i love science fiction. it sounds like a great episode. is it really a serious concern
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do we really had evidence of that happening. has it ever happened before and why can't we take safeguards. thank you with that i would like to turn it over to richard first. we look forward to your comments. i'm coming at this from a little different angle having worked for the department of defense for quite a few years. and i taught at the national war college. generally speaking what we try to do is figure out how to best use the technology so when i read in the book in my first thought is that doesn't sound like a very good idea. there is a different perspective. let me take this to a different level. one of the things that we need to do coming from that
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perspective of america and being a representative of the american government is we need to be concerned about how we can win if we use technologies we can preserve the system. the system does. and eventually the states that had different systems will begin to prevail we can maintain it for a longer time there is another thing that's going on along these lines. our system in this international system it only worked as long as we can have that moral authority. if we start doing things which makes our allies uncomfortable about willing to work with us you have problems. so there's two sides to this. even from the perspective of someone like me coming from
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the department of defense. we have to take into account some of what our allies and friends are saying. i am worried with this technological debate this is kind of serious and we have to be really careful about going along with what our american constituencies are trying to do in banning this technology or stopping technologies like robotics on the battlefield. or the use of cyberspace. i don't think what they're trying to do is necessarily logical i think there is a constituency out there that makes its living and make make their living by being anti- u.s. and that's what they do. doesn't matter what issue is. we can't take the arguments at face value. i don't think for the most
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part these guys are terribly serious at the end of the day because when we hear about the things that they're saying or doing almost all of them in the legal way. in acts of practice we are doing things that they should say we shouldn't be doing. they are arguing that we shouldn't. it seems like everyone else is out there as well. i'm not sure how serious the arguments are there making a lot of noise and i understand we need to take seriously what our allies are saying. i have not heard a lot of serious arguments again about using them on the battlefield. or any of the other things that we are arguing against. i'm trying to assess how serious these guys are in making these arguments against technology. some would have to show me that they have a leg to stand on in the real world.
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so we had banned weapons in the past but usually it is weapons that had horrific effect. weapons that don't have horrific effect are not banned. and i think that is one of the things we want to and about in this is not clear to me that john's points are wrong. if anything the new developments they will change warfare significantly. anti- satellite in space and hypersonic strike. it will be a different kind of battlefield. it's not clear to me that existing international law one does not apply i think everybody agrees it does.
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that it won't reinforce some of the laws of the conflict. it is a bit premature. the audience we just heard about the international lawyers. another want to bear in mind is an old arms-control trick is to write a treaty that bans what the opponent is doing. i would be except -- if the russians or chinese did not do that. the classic example is the foreign ministry and the satellite weapons up until the
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morning that they were if you expect that the opponents will take advantage of efforts to constrain the u.s. without them selves being constrained. when you think about russian behavior. if you're thinking about this largely in the context. why are we so risk adverse. what you had people writing about technologies that do not exist or if they do exist they had been around for a long time. the patriot has an autonomous mode. it is not the end of the world. it is profitable i preferable i think to have a machine shot out but you had people who object seriously to this.
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the western society. we are much more risk adverse that was the source of the godzilla movie. this is a replay of this. we worry about catastrophes that probably won't happen and this might be one of them. so when i look at these things for me it is just the further continuation of the technologies that have made militaries more effective we are not alone. everyone i soon knows that they leading expert is china were not in first place. there is a larger debate about how the weapons bring unknown
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peril to the future of conflict. i will stop at that. we get of a larger discussion about improved military capabilities you could make the case about great powers more cautious. that reduces the risk. the unbelief is that we will never see another world war something like world war ii. i think most countries will want to avoid that. one of the reasons we want to avoid that is precisely because the increased capabilities provided by new military systems exit so costly. but that is not an argument for banning them. i want to briefly address one issue that's come up and goes to the true aspect of it.
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maybe a lot of this talk about banning in control. i'm open to that. just see have a frame of reference. in the cyber area neater -- nato sponsored project of coming up with a manual of how the conflict applies to cyber. it is not officially an nato document but the center for excellence brought in scholars from around the world. most of them are people who are affiliated with governments. and they came up with this quite bulky study about how they apply to cyber operations. and they assert very confidently. in all of the rules have to be applied. and you might think that is
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just like one thing. there are four heating things that have been written by private scholars and is not working for government. and then the original talent manual it's called is now in the second adjust addition. it's longer and more detailed than the first. the launch for the second manual here in washington. it was interestingly sponsored by by the dutch government. people who were involved with that said we came out with a second addition three years later they expressed so much interest.
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maybe these are not exactly the rules but there must be rules and the kind of like the rules. i don't know i'm not sure anybody could tell you what would really happen with extremely disruptive cyber attacks. let's make them more and more detail. i think the point of that is to be inhibiting and i think the way governments work they are very much getting a lot of that. it makes it look as if it has all worked out. they are all saying that the lawyers cannot extrapolate how this works. i just want to say at least in some areas there are whole lot of people generating a whole lot of things that look semi-
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authoritative. is that a few people just saying things on tv. i sort of follow on that. it discourages people who need to think about this from thinking in a serious way. the point of our book is not just let's cut loose and beat wild. it's not the point at all. the new technologies put us in many ways and context into a different situation and we should think about how this works. let me just give two examples. the main treaty is going back to the 1970s. the distinction between military targets which are permissible and civilians not only civilian human beings but the infrastructures is literally the way of casting
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this. if there is going to be incidental harm to objects and infrastructures has to be incidental. it can't be the thing you're aiming at. it still can't be more than that. you have to hit some civilian things. the whole way of thinking. if you bombed cologne a lot of stuff. it better be worth it. the whole way of thinking about it which makes a certain sent if you are sending in a lot of bombers to hit a city with 1943 technology.
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they could not get within a 5-mile radius of the attendant target. they were not close to their actual target which is why it they needed sony bombers. you can to say that iranian to refine that. when i can blow anything up. we're just can target the industrial control it just incapacitated this particular piece of equipment. if you talk about the lawyers question. first of all was that a permissible target. was it a military target. they swear up and down it was a peaceful nuclear reactor.
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is it civilian. that itself is somewhat disputed. and even if you said their capacity to produce a bomb down the road you did this incidental damage in the meantime. that whole set of questions that people have learned how to ask the kind of technology that we have in the 1970s it just doesn't really make sense when you're dealing with cyber strikes. you might want to do before you are actually involved in this. the main point is it's not only a matter of who they will inhibit us from doing things that we should do that from thinking in an imaginative weight in a creative way in an appropriate way what do they enable us to do.
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what kind of limits do we not want to have. we just need have a more open consideration of these things rather than in our robotic way. let's just go planking forward. i was actually in town. can they captured tigers. great powers behave in a certain way. you really need to look at the p5 for tat -- perhaps even a subset. it does not like that at all. it will do what it needs to do. and if a member chooses not to
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pursue these technologies they may be disqualified themselves from being a great power in the future. more importantly the treaties have some value because they set these rules for how warfare should be in an engaged way that minimizes civilian damage. the geneva convention and the protocols does all came and they were posted factor. one of the things i worry about the came after morse where we saw aerial bombardment. that's what inspired them. as you said we are theorizing that. it may not be a good way to do it. usually these sorts of constraints are posted factor. there is another issue here that is really important.
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how the laws in norms in tradition work in this field. it something i spent a lot of time thinking about over the last ten years or so. and it strikes me that it is very subversive. we always think about a giant cyber pearl harbor. what happens is your opponents find some way to get inside of your system they do it subtly. they find something that allows them to penetrate you without penetrating you. you want to be able to keep warming up at that water. but never to the point where it forces them to actually take defense. and do something big. our adversaries have gotten very good at this sort of thing. the russians as well. they are often legal teachings.
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they allow them to get into the system. with ways that we can't resist. one of the things that has been in the news a lot lately. has been the chinese companies purchasing u.s. companies. and you see them buying strategic technologies. they come up with a great technology or company why not let them as an american having the freedom of our property you want to sell that. but once that technology is in the hands of the chinese government can be used to do is similarly devastating things to our military, our economy are critical infrastructure and so forth. that is a chink in our armor. how do you revise our laws and traditions in such a way that we can start to address the
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critical vulnerabilities which exist because we had outpaced what we need in an earlier era. this is something i think really needs to be addressed whenever we talk about new technologies. >> i will continue even though i am a co-author i will still be the moderator. we will change this and it's a strange position to be in. as an asian kid my mother would say and i know she was really proud of me she would say that's a good score but why do you do better. having heard these two comments why don't we do better in our book. is there something we should have added.
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but what would you say in response to these these two points. it's hard to know what the real significance of it is particularly when were not fighting it. it is the easiest thing. we would never do that. we just when it appeared we are teaching this that we are not supposed to do. what does that tell you. since you posted that as a question. i wish i knew the answer to these things and then it would have a chapter i think this is
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a pervasive feature of modern life. if they keep seeing them. you start to worry that kind of makes a different. if i could give you an analogy which i probably shouldn't i will anyway. betsy devos was at my school people have gone really crazy with these procedures. and i think part of the reason that they went a little bit extreme. they kept saying things they didn't quite fully think but they just kept saying it. there was a certain moat to bashan. i think the main interest the main importance of these
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weapons what begins as it allows us to deliver coercive strikes in a compact city. i think it was excellent. and nobody in the world no government said that. it is precisely in that shadowland where you are not an all out war and you just think this is all out war. it isn't quite normal peacetime interaction. you don't want to be provocative. you don't want to go too far.
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you have not fully committed. i think there is some hesitation. and i will give you just one example of things i think is instructive. the bush administration had this program. to stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. the interest pension. it wasn't shipping civilian goods. it was incredibly suspicious. what that was about i have never talked to anyone. in normal peacetime conditions we are worried about the grading the law of the sea. we want there to be this general understanding that you don't need to fear with shipping on the high seas.
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we allowed ourselves you need our permission to be on the atlantic. but short of that. were not really quite sure what the rules are. there are some indications that we are a little bit more inhibited in some circumstances and we might be. we might need to think harder about new technologies and they allow us to have an intervention that is not the same as launching a war what should we allow ourselves to do. i'm not saying if we fought hard we would figure it out. and then we would have exactly perfectly calibrated scheme which we could then disseminate to people in the military. we will learn -- learn from experience. we will see what is perspective. even excepting the point of that.
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we are sometime in danger or been too worried about that. that's coloring outside the lines. it's not kindergarten meeting. i have append and as a is a fabulous new color. i think jeremy really sharpened at this point i think it is jeremy's if you that the laws of war at least in the modern poise 1977 are politically motivated. with the western powers. with a can and that they are
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willing to do in war. the new technologies give us the opportunity to try to change those do you agree with that initial argument. are they really motivated by ideological gains. maybe back to the way they were before or do some new system. i agree in the international law is one of the ways to other countries try to constrain the united states. you try to find some way to gain some control our allies have done it. and in the book you talk a lot about that. from the perspective of fairness. because all of the advantages to the terrorists and the go to the week powers and is
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definitely designed to constrain that. trying to find some way to keep that superpower at bay. and right now there might be some opportunities with the new weapons to change that a little bit i think that is the case. there is another thing going on also. our adversaries right now are making very good use of some these technologies. i come back and the russians. just about every day now. they are going to apply to us but i don't think that the new laws that govern this type of technology that restrain this technology i don't think they are going to respect those laws. if we come up with a new set of laws that try to constraint.
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i can't it. i can't see any goodness coming out of it. for the international system that we had built. with the international lawyer class. it is definitely a bad thing. for the type of stable world systems that we have today. that's how i would address the question. i was trending a little bit more outside the bounds here. people used this. according to the preferences. the preference in western society. they would move away from force as an instrument of state power. particularly in the western european countries none of them with one exception at this point some people have
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caused the strategic timidity. and i i don't think the laws insults our problem. they are relatively flexible and give you the ability to do what you need to do if you could justify it. i think it is our interpretation of them that is a dilemma. in parts of the academic world to create a new norm governing new warfare. you can use autonomous offense. and things like that. we don't need new and arms. i'm not sure we even need new laws. we made it to may need to rethink the politics of how we use force i think the countries are cautious about force. they are careful for not crossing the ill defined threshold that would provoke a
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military distraction. a new way states would use technology. we need to think did that. we are going to turn out to questions from the audience. had and ask to say and keep in mind that the event has been lime's -- lifestream. i teach at berkeley is a lot of questions often turn into speeches. if someone could keep the microphone over to here.
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if you're directing a question to a person or panel as a whole let me address the question. with the any kind of eye symmetrical way. with the attitude that you all seem to be advocate change in any way. one issue that has not come up in the. as the aspect of producing casualties. i am baffled by it. if you have to see that. i know which one i would pick. i'm very happy to send machines. has nothing to do with advantage. i'm not sure we have an
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advantage. if you look at the chinese and russian activities in space we are vulnerable. maybe in one of these. the treaty of 1926. how about that. it saved people's lives. give to get down to cases on specific technologies. and actually makes war more likely. there are certain types of cyber conflict. i have no hope whatsoever that they would adhere to anything
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that we want them to adhere to. it would be the first one to try to get the new rule of law passed. we shouldn't think of this. the only conflict that matters. we haven't actually fought it since 1963. we a lot of casualties. there is worth this. that is a first think. the second thing is to be really crude about this. i think my view is
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international norm. certainly everything that works for that united states government should not only accept that. we would get trapped. they were confused about what we were talking about. it was good to push back on that. you are just saying cyber is lawful. were better at it. the point of the rules cannot be to make sure that everybody has an equal chance. when it is really unnecessary.
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we won't otherwise get agreement. that's okay. we can live with that. what is the point of being a superpower if you can't live with some uncertainty in the world. since we had been beating up on international lawyers all day. the legal adviser of the state department will defend his profession. that's not what i really had in mind. the whole area is one that sort of baffles me. this is really good recognition. it is sort of the arms-control debate. should we allow this kind of weapon or is it a debate over how the laws of war what they
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should be in this context. when the rushing hacking and interference was at its peak. we can blame that. proposing the great outrage. and recommending the responsive action. was at the use it the use of what they got through the hacking.
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in the response came back it was the use of this material in the u.s. campaign and in the whole then the whole thing sort of seem to fall apart. and it wasn't used by the russians. what is a appropriate response. as opposed to one of the nazi cyber attacks. i don't think there are any clear rules about this. i think but the russians did. that would just speculate. we try to help also is not clear to me what the motive was on the russian side.
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i think we usually had a more constructive strategy. i think they were they're just trying to shake things up. i think spirit to say that there aren't really agreed rules about this. i've feel like we don't want there to be agreed rules. we probably don't know what we might like to do. as far as gathering information and then deploying it. just think of it as espionage. would we like there to be an elaborate code of rules. i think not. the executive order on cyber security includes the commissioning of the study on how exactly to deter on how to link those.
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one of the things you will see in the next few months is certainly a study. in the suggestion they will be painful damaging, but not permanent and reversible. to go back to the old alms control window. we have done a good job at populating the letter. in below that. there has not been a lot of thought i think the call by the administration to think up the temporary painful reversible retaliatory actions is a good idea. the book itself is pessimistic about arms control but not about deterrence.
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with the nuclear weapons until start and stop. after a lot of time and a lot of experience with the weapons. and a lot of experience with our adversaries. that's what you want to start to develop a message. that's where we think they eventually get creative after a long time of practice. getting together and put putting together expert manual. jeremy did not mention this. there is a harvard project. i don't think any of those things are going to succeed but the kind of things that they talk about is the more important areas where you can ask to head deterrence. and i think they just create
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more opportunities. the coercive uses of new technology. i even hated arms controllers when i was a kid. the utility of arms control is a good question however. how about harvey over there. my question or comment is a private capacity. i do not represent any of the entities that i am associated with.
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we always talked about in the national war college the revolution of military affairs. in technology is becoming this revolutionary thing. inside our world about what the advantages for the west and the adversaries. the question for you guys as there is the notion that with your focusing on. it's how you apply the law with the idea of fighting. technology is cutting across both of those phenomena in as you said a lot of countries are trying to figure what is below the threshold under our geneva convention and a lot of
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us are trying to think about that. i'd be curious for you as a group would be in the space and be i don't think you are saying that you want to throw out the concept of that. it's the way of making distinctions. because you remember the origin of all of these norms comes from us which is the leader code. lincoln laid out the left and right margin of what's appropriate and he does in the context of the civil war because the goal is in the end you want to join the north and the matter. it does not result in an ongoing civil war. which you may have. i'd be curious to see the panels and the reactions. >> we will do this in a lightning round fashion.
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so go. i want to dispute what you said that we started this. he was hired to do this. he was from germany was thought to know about what do europeans think that rules are. we did not just make them up. much of to the larger point yes you and had rules. and the question is are they frozen in place and what people thought they should be in the 1970s even when this is very partisan. if you raise the question of that. an interesting fact that is now totally forgotten. they used to have it meant it could break up. but it's not a war.
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it have to be something which was in itself lawful. i think it was more than that. i think it blurs a lot of lines as to what you think of as an active force when you can do it in the distance without landing personnel there. we need to think more about that. >> i would address this by saying what counts as war now is really unclear. the russians right now say they are at war with us. there is also a strategic chinese contingent who says they are at war with the united states. if you are doing as some people in the intelligence community have published a number of times trillions of dollars of damage is that
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considered war. nobody is dying. but what if you are a report came out that was in the news of the dragonfly. it's not like they're putting bombs underneath our transformers. even if they could do more damage. is that war? we need to rethink what constitutes this. it does not cover any more. and we really need to rethink this in common sense terms and then come up with solutions to try to solve some of these technology go puzzles. to make the rules that apply to combat in the use of force remain applicable and appropriate. as we have heard. what qualifies as war now.
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some ways the rules we have are as germane to the new technologies. .. .. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] hello, everyone.


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