The use of drones and robots, and data-driven military analysis in warfare is rapidly growing. Wim Zwijnenburg (PAX) discusses the important role these technologies play in the way armed conflicts, counter-terrorism and insurgencies have been fought over the last decade, as well as the profound implications for the future of warfare.
From the CIA’s secret killing program using drones in Pakistan to full out cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, the means and methods of warfare are heavily influenced by technological developments and innovative thinking among both states and armed groups. We are witnessing how armed forces seek to minimize risks to their own troops, build information infrastructures that give a quick view of the battlefield, and manage to target their enemies first. Beyond current military technologies, there are also looming threats of new weapons under development, such as direct-energy weapons and weapons using human enhancement technology and nano-technology.
This arms race is being pushed by growing tensions between global powers which need to stay ahead of the weapons curve to retain dominance, and being fueled by significant involvement from tech companies and research institutes, often linked to academia. What are the implications of these technological developments for the way we fight wars in the future? In this interactive lecture, Wim Zwijnenburg (PAX expert on Humanitarian Disarmament) discusses these developments and the implications for armed forces, military interventions, and foreign policy.
Wim Zwijnenburg is the Humanitarian Disarmament Project Leader for PAX and Coordinator of the European Forum on Armed Drones, a network of civil society organizations working to address concerns over use and proliferation of military drones. He is a frequent contributor to the open-source investigative journalism collective Bellingcat and has been involved in the Control Arms campaign on the Arms Trade Treaty. His work focuses on emerging military technologies and their impact on how wars are being fought and the consequences of arms proliferation. He also works on investigating the impact of conflict on the environment. For his work, he received the UN Green Star Award in 2017.
This lecture is organized in collaboration with the Liberation 040 foundation, a student organization that has been organizing the Eindhoven Liberation Festival Liberation 040 honoring September 18, since 2018. Watch the after-movie and photos of previous editions here. In the run-up to the festival on Saturday 18 September, various activities are organized to promote knowledge and awareness of the Second World War and the liberation of Eindhoven among young people and students. On Saturday 18 September, everyone is welcome in the city center to celebrate freedom together.