Next generation technologies are increasingly available almost as quickly as they are developed. How can these advanced technologies be deployed responsibly by democratic states? How will rogue regimes and non-state actors look to exploit them and how can democratic governments cooperate in countering their malicious use? How can democratic societies navigate threats from authoritarian adversaries in the information domain and build resilience to cyber threats?
Autonomous Weapons and Advanced Military Technology
Artificial intelligence and emerging technologies have a wide range of possible military applications and the potential to transform weapons systems. Although lethal autonomous weapons systems have gained widespread attention, the policy questions posed by advanced technologies extend well beyond just how to regulate “killer robots.” How will advanced military technologies reshape conflict and strategic stability in the years and decades to come? How can democratic countries best manage the risks they introduce?
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), an independent federal commission tasked with providing the president and Congress recommendations to “advance the development o…
On June 15, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted an event to discuss Michael O'Hanlon's new book, “The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint,” featuring former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy..
The Marine Corps is pursuing significant changes to address the realities of great power competition, including implementing a new force design.
Loitering munitions represent a bridge between today’s precision-guided weapons that rely on greater levels of human control and our future of autonomous weapons with increasingly little human inte…
As individuals, organizations, and governments around the world have grown more dependent on digital information and services, they have also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks and intrusions. How can policymakers build resilience to this evolving threat? Should ransomware payments be banned?
The recent internet outage underscores how the internet isn’t nearly as distributed as we tend to think. An important near-term step is to build a better understanding of the specific vulnerabilities in internet infrastructure and how those can impact other critical infrastructure sectors.
To Build Back Better, Biden’s FCC must secure U.S. broadband networks and reverse Trump-era cybersecurity unbuilding, says Tom Wheeler.
Caitlin Chin contrasts the Biden and Trump administration approaches to cybersecurity issues in the wake of the massive SolarWinds hack.
Our military systems are vulnerable. We need to face that reality by halting the purchase of insecure weapons and support systems and by incorporating the realities of offensive cyberattacks into o…
Though few African states can compete with the world’s major cyber powers, the region is not inherently more susceptible to state-sponsored cyber threats. Like other regions, Africa faces its own s…
Describing the SolarWinds breach as an “act of war” risks leading U.S. policymakers toward the wrong response.
Liberal democracies are engaged in a persistent, asymmetric competition with authoritarian challengers that is playing out in multiple, intersecting domains far from traditional battlefields, and the information space is a critical theater. How can democratic societies navigate authoritarian efforts to weaponize information, exploiting the openness of liberal societies? What efforts can be taken to build resilience to authoritarian information manipulation?
The Russian state-controlled media response to the Pandora Papers focuses on wrongdoing by Latin American officials, attempts to discredit allegations against individuals linked to the Kremlin, and suggests Washington had a hand in the financial records leak.
Russia and China each deploy an evolving set of tactics and techniques to advance their geopolitical interests in the information domain. Here's how their strategies are changing – and how democracies can meet the challenge.
As cybersecurity threats grow, democracies should avoid borrowing the authoritarians’ playbook. Here’s what democracies need in developing a cyber strategy of their own.
South Korea’s approach to fighting disinformation offers lessons for other democracies.
Technology and Malicious Actors
Emerging technologies have introduced new capabilities for both state and non-state malicious actors, potentially altering dynamics between them. What cybercrime threats do criminal and militant actors pose to private and government institutions and publics and how will those challenges evolve over the coming decade? How have governments incorporated AI and cyber-driven surveillance technology into policing and counterterrorism? What threats and costs does the government adoption of such technologies carry for civil liberties and human rights across the globe? This workstream is a partnership with the Brookings Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors.
On February 18, the Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors at Brookings held a panel discussion examining how the U.S. government should think about working with, and through, nonstate armed actors in implementing global fragility strategy.
Technology and Surveillance
Advances in facial recognition technology and related systems are increasingly used to track and identify individuals in the real world in real time. These systems can be used to find missing children and persons, but can also be deployed for mass surveillance, to keep tabs on dissidents and opposition leaders, or track journalists and civil society leaders. What are the implications of new facial recognition and surveillance technologies and what global standards should be developed for their use? What can U.S. policymakers learn from their European Commission counterparts’ efforts to regulate facial recognition and other biometric technologies? What policy, legal, and regulatory actions can mitigate unfair practices?
President Biden should ban the use of affective computing in law enforcement application to preempt the use of unproven, proto-dystopian technologies, Alex Engler writes. Despite the high stakes and lack of efficacy, the ease of access to affective computing has already led to law enforcement use.
Facial recognition systems should be tested for fairness and accuracy limitations prior to use by law enforcement, writes Mark MacCarthy.
Recent years have seen a dramatic flourishing of digital technologies. In our book, “Turning Point: Policymaking in the Era of Artificial Intelligence,” Brookings President John Allen and I describ…
As facial recognition technology spreads, regulators have tools to ensure that this technology does not result in inaccurate or biased outcomes.