The Future of Unmanned Naval Technologies
On November 2, the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings hosted Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead. Admiral Roughead discussed the U.S. Navy’s use of new technologies, and its development and integration of unmanned systems into the current and future Navy force structure. He also addressed the major operational challenges and benefits from new and rapidly evolving technologies and spoke to the doctrinal, legal and ethical questions that arise when using unmanned naval systems.
Admiral Roughead is the highest ranking officer in the U.S. Navy, and one of only two admirals to have commanded both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. He also serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Senior Fellow Peter W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative and author of the new book Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Penguin Group, 2009), provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, Admiral Roughead took questions from the audience.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.