While the introduction of futuristic technologies will establish new options and precedents for state responses to security scenarios, there are important lessons to be drawn from prior crises. Beginning with a case study of newly sworn-in leaders during their first major foreign policy ‘test,’ this article envisions changes to such security scenarios with reference to the development of policies on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS). Leadership perceptions and the politics of human versus machine error, or sharing accountability of fault by states, is considered in the context of a detailed thought experiment. The second section of the article identifies enhanced collaborative rules for decreasing the probability of unintentional war at the level of military officers. The final section considers possible avenues to implement restrictions on LAWS in conventional warfare through various arms control models. Through the article’s focus on existing architectures of global governance, readers will be presented with an analysis of the challenges that may confront future political leaders and technical experts in the field of emerging technologies.



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