Closing the Capability Gap: ASEAN Military Modernization during the Dawn of Autonomous Weapon Systems

The procurement of autonomous weapon systems is on the rise in Southeast Asia, where, as in other parts of the world, interest in the military applications of unmanned systems is outpacing fractured international regulation efforts. In his Asian Security article, Centre Visiting Research Fellow Jai Galliott analyzes the diffusion of drone technology in Southeast Asia and argues that we are at an inflection point, representing an opportunity for The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to control the diffusion of unmanned platforms and take a leadership role in developing a regionally appropriate framework for their development. Moreover, it contends that with a regional framework in place to reduce tensions/misadventure, unmanned aerial and maritime vehicles (UAVs & UMVs) could improve ASEAN’s ability to respond to traditional and non-traditional security threats, and thus increase regional security.


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