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Emerging Military Technologies, Civil Society, And Democracy


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  • 1. Thrust Group 4: Emerging Military Technologies, Civil Society, and Democracy
    Group Leader: Clark A. Miller
    Thrust Group: Brad Allenby, Doug Brattebo, Elizabeth Corley, Peter French, Shannon French, YoavGortzak, Rick O’Meara, Jason Robert, Brian Smith, Stuart Younger
    Graduate Students: Christine Nulle, Michael Burnam-Fink
    Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki
  • 2. Civil-Military Relationships
    Military Operations
    Power, Politics, and Democracy
    National Security
    Military Innovation System
    Civilian Innovation System
    Social and Community Dynamics and Relations
    Military Culture
    Individual Wellbeing, Livelihood, and Lifestyles
    Emerging Technologies
  • 3. The Big Question
    What – if anything at all –do the words civilian, democracy,and governance mean in the world of emerging technologies?
    What would be required to reinvent governance in the wake of the collapse of the separation of civilian and military spheres of life, i.e., the functional integration of society and the warzone, or the dissolution of the state in a globalizing, privatizing world?
  • 4. 7 Areas of Engagement
    Dual Use Technologies – how do we govern the flow of emerging technologies between military and civilian innovation systems and applications?
    Distribution of Power – how do new technologies impact the role and power of the military in society?
    Internal Security – where are the boundaries between military operations, homeland security, and law enforcement?
    Governance – who controls and regulates military technologies?
    Civilian Life in Combat Zones – what is civilian life like in combat zones and what does this mean for the exercise of military technological power and its legitimacy?
    Home Life for Enhanced Warfighters – what happens when enhanced soldiers come home and retire?
    Social Transformation – how do military technologies transform ideas, identities, values, behaviors, relationships, and institutions?
  • 5. Dual Use Technologies
    Core issues
    Spillover of military technologies into civilian applications and their ethical, legal, and social dimensions
    E.g., Constitutional right to bear arms (2nd amend.), the private use of spy-bots, and the privatization of military force?
    Are the goals of military and civilian innovation compatible for new technologies?
    What are the consequences of militarizing emerging technologies for their civilian spin-offs?
    Public perceptions of military technologies and their feedback into technology development, military operations, and national security
    Links between civilian and military innovation systems
    E.g., Spin-off technologies (maintaining the viability of military laboratories) and civilian WMD (Frank Herbert’s The White Plague)
    Regulating the flow of ideas and technologies
    E.g., The ethics of scientific publication and export control
    1918 flu virions recreated and DNA published in 2005; 1918 flu victims
  • 6. Distribution of Power
    Core Issues
    Civilian control of the military, military dictatorships, and the power of the military in society
    To what extent do emerging technologies impact the military’s power in society, either directly or indirectly?
    Redistribution of power among society’s institutions (states, corporations, networks, publics)
    E.g., Al Qaeda
    Redistribution of power between individuals, groups, institutions, and societies
    Individual enhancements, but new dependencies on the agencies that enhanced them, provide upgrades, repairs, etc.?
  • 7. Internal Security
    Core Issues
    To what extent do emerging technologies blur the boundaries between military operations, homeland security, and law enforcement?
    E.g., Total Information Awareness
    How do emerging military technologies impact the power of internal security organizations and, consequently, values such as freedom and democracy?
    E.g., Domestic wiretapping by the NSA
    What are the ethics of research security?
    E.g., Retinal scanners at Biodesign, select agents policies
    How will security agencies shape emerging technologies, and with what consequences for society, their governance, their application by militaries?
    Retinal scanner like the ones used at ASU Biodesign; Painting by David Senecal: “Total Information Awareness”
    Contemplate the convergence of ubiquitous, networked nano-sensors with bio-signature tracking of individual geographic histories.
  • 8. Governance
    Core Issues
    Who controls and regulates emerging military technologies? Do citizens have a legitimate role in shaping the military deployment of technologies? Can international regimes play effective roles?
    E.g., Debate over the US Atomic Energy Commission
    E.g., Should human enhancement remain under civilian control?
    E.g., Do other weapons fall into the same category as WMD and demand international regulation?
    How do we govern the privatization of force in George’s and Sean’s World?
    “The militarization of human enhancement technologies will potentially be extremely dangerous – to individuals and to democracy – in part because military organizations are hierarchical and secretive and in part because battlefield performance is arguably the most competitive, coercive, and destructive context on the planet.” – Clark Miller, CSPO Soapbox, 12/14/09
    Image of human enhancement; Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies image of the future soldier, taken from the cartoon Radix
  • 9. Civilian Life in Combat Zones
    Is there a non-combat zone on the planet?
    Core Issues
    How do military technologies shape life for civilians in combat zones?
    How, in turn, does this reflect on the legitimacy of the exercise of military power, the effectiveness of counter-insurgency operations, allied local military forces, etc.?
    E.g., predator drones
  • 10. Home Life for Enhanced Warfighters
    Are multiple human species on the horizon? Is the VA ready for them?
    Core Issues
    What impact will military use of human enhancement technologies have on soldiers as humans (as fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, friends, husbands, wives), during and after their military careers?
    What happens to enhanced soldiers after the military? Will they be allowed to retire? Will their enhancements be removed? Will the VA offer repairs, upgrades? Will they join private security firms, and with what ethical and social implications?
    What are the equity implications of human enhancement? Would people enter the military to gain access to the most advanced enhancements?
    “A study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was conducted by Dr. Karen Seal and colleagues at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco. According to their analysis, about one third of the 103,788 returning veterans seen at V.A. facilities between Sept. 30, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2005 were diagnosed with mental illness or a psycho-social disorder -- such as homelessness and marital problems, including domestic violence.” –
  • 11. The Army’s Human Dimension
    “In looking to an uncertain future in the years 2015 to 2024, we envision an increasingly complex operational environment that will challenge individual Soldiers, their leaders, and their organizations in unprecedented ways. I want this concept to serve as a point of departure for wide-ranging discussion, research, and investigations into what impacts the performance, reliability, flexibility, endurance, and adaptability of an Army made up of Soldiers, their families, civilians, and contractors.“ – General William Wallace
    “Technological efforts to improve human performance aim to enable Soldiers to perform at peak efficiency. In the near future, such enhancements will rely on mechanical augmentation, drugs, and psychological behavior modifications. In the longer term, gene manipulation may strive to improve human performance while nanotech implants dispense advanced drugs to increase efficiency of the physical processes.
    “As the S&T trends take shape, the tools available to research and development entities will greatly expand the potential solutions. By 2030, the ethical and moral questions of human enhancement and behavior control may be more of a limitation on the process than the scientific and technological capabilities.” – The US Army Concept for the Human Dimension in Full Spectrum Operations, 2015-2024, June 2008.
  • 12. Social Transformation and Anticipatory Governance
    Core Issues
    What will society look like in a future of emerging military technologies?
    How will emerging military technologies shape our conceptual frameworks, our lenses for interpreting events in the world around us, the values we cherish, and our relationships with one another?
    What will emerging technologies imply for the organization of the military and of society?
    Can humanity fashion a better future by reflecting on the future we are building today?
    Vannevar Bush, who sought from Science: The Endless Frontier to Modern Arms and Free Men to detach science from the military; Greenpeace protest against GMOs; Paul Berg, who led efforts at Asilomar to regulate genetic engineering
    Most enhancement talk has focused on making soldiers better shooters, have better endurance, heal faster; but is that the right model for today’s complex deployments?
  • 13. Potential Projects
    Technology specific case studies
    The Future Veteran Project
    Funders: VA? DOD? NSF?
    VA Project: Current situation, future challenges, what new competencies will they need in 25 years? (Miller et al.)
    The US Army Concept on the Human Dimensions (Nulle)
    The Enhanced Warfighter in Society (Burnam-Fink)
    Surveys (public, Pentagon employees, scientists) and Media Coverage Maps of George’s World (Corley, Hindman)
    Funders: DOD? Foundations (security, public understanding of S&T, new media)? NSF?
    The Presidency at the intersection of Commander in Chief, Head of State, Democratically-Elected President, Chief Diplomat (Brattebo)
    Foreign civilian responses to US military technologies and their implications for counter-insurgency and allied military recruitment operations (Gortzak)