Efforts for emerging technologies’ peaceful use, int’l legislation necessary: Air Marshal Zahid

Efforts for emerging technologies' peaceful use, int'l legislation necessary: Air Marshal Zahid

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP):Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Muhammad Zahid Mahmood on Thursday said it was necessary for the nations to work for peaceful use of emerging technologies and international legislation ensuring betterment of mankind rather than destruction of humanity.

Addressing the concluding session of Centre for Aerospace and Strategic Studies (CASS) flagship Global Strategic Threat and Response (GSTAR) 2022 international conference on ‘Evolving Global Order: Challenges and Opportunities’ as guest of honour, the Vice Chief of Air Staff said the international moot would help create awareness among all the facets of societies especially the practitioners on geoeconomics in national security calculus.

Air Marshal Zahid Mahmood said unfortunately the world organisations had never contained the fast developing space warfare capabilities that caused power imbalances as the prevailing global order did not support efforts to stop any nation its pursuits.

He added that the GSTAR 2022 depicted that geoeconomics held a key role in the geostrategic calculus and helped cover many nuances that remained under the snow of geoeconomics.

The PAF Vice Chief mentioned that the selective showing of the emerging technologies in conflicts owing to the military innovations was creating imbalance in the South Asia region.

During the second day of the GSTAR 2022, the third working session was moderated by Director Emerging Technologies CASS, Air Marshal (R) M. Ashfaque Arain who was also Advisor to the Chief of Air Staff on CASS Affairs.

Advisor National Command Authority and Former Director General, Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General (R) Khalid A. Kidwai delivered his keynote address on Militarisation of Emerging Technologies: Implications on Strategic Stability in South Asia.

He emphasised the fact that emergence of new technologies was not a new phenomenon but a constant historical fact which was likely to continue in the future as well.

“A spectacular technology, when inducted in a weapon system, tends to affect stability for a while but soon a counter technology or antidote is developed which acts to restore the stability.”

In the context of South Asia, Lt. General Kidwai said the West in its attempt to strengthen India as a counterweight to China was violating international rules and norms by arming and selectively sharing technologies with it which has put strategic stability in the region under stress.

“India, on the other hand has always been careful to follow its interests rather than completely playing to one side.” Lt. General Kidwai at the end reiterated that Pakistan like always would respond to restore stability in the region.

Among the panelists, Senior Colonel Yang Jun from China discussed how future warfare could only be won by grasping the laws and characteristics of modern warfare, jumping out of the box of traditional thinking and stereotypes and taking into consideration systems, data and algorithms, exploring new operation concepts, designing new approaches to victory, strengthening the integration of warfighting and technological development and that of research and operations, and drawing on others’ strengths to make up for one’s own shortcomings.

In his presentation, Dr George Moore from the US discussed how the current and future proliferation of drones and Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems had changed both military and civil security, including the impact of AI and removal of the human element from lethal decision-making.

He opined that the potential use of drones, particularly Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) would lower the threshold for conflict given the ongoing issues raised by UAV operations in Ukraine. “There are no conventions or agreements governing use of drones. This area could gain prominence after the Ukraine war,” he concluded.

Marina Favaro from Germany defined emerging technologies as those scientific discoveries and technological applications that had not yet reached maturity or were not widely in use, but were anticipated to have major – perhaps disruptive – effect on international peace and security.

She cautioned that great power competition would be the main driver behind future research and development in the US, Russia, and China.

‘A possible China-Russia alliance could confront the US with serious military-technological challenges’, she concluded.

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