WASHINGTON — As the U.S. military deals with a seemingly endless invasion of unidentified objects in the skies, the Pentagon is reportedly planning to develop a new “weapon of mass destruction” — hordes of air, land, and sea-based drones. With some calling it the “swarm of swarms,” the program’s reported development is raising ethical and security concerns.
The top-secret strategy envisages automated, coordinated attacks by many types of unmanned machines. Critics suggest management of these machines will be difficult, raising the prospect of lethal force without direct oversight. Most details of U.S. defense research agency DARPA’s project are classified.