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Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

What happens when a Predator drone has as much autonomy as a Google car? Or when a weapon that can hunt its own targets is hacked? Although it sounds like science fiction, the technology already exists to create weapons that can attack targets without human input. 

Army of None engages military history, global policy, and cutting-edge science to argue that we must embrace technology where it can make war more precise and humane, but without surrendering human judgment. When the choice is life or death, there is no replacement for the human heart.

Available in stores and online.

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Army of None: Bio
Army of None: Music Player


One of Bill Gates' top five books of 2018

Winner of the 2019 William E. Colby Award

One of The Economist's top five books to understand modern warfare

Army of None: CV


"[T]he book I had been waiting for. I can’t recommend it highly enough. ... Scharre is a great thinker who has both on-the-ground experience and a high-level view. ... Scharre writes clearly about a huge range of topics: computer science, military strategy, history, philosophy, psychology, and ethics."

Bill Gates

“A tour de force of the future of war technology. A former U.S. Army Ranger turned defense analyst, Paul Scharre has been there and back. He skillfully uses that background to blend personal experience and thoughtful analysis into a highly readable journey through the world of robots on the battlefield and beyond.”

P.W. Singer, author of Wired for War and Ghost Fleet

“The era of autonomous weapons is upon us. In Army of None, Scharre combines his experience as a warrior and his insight as a policy researcher to paint a comprehensive picture of exactly what such an era will look like. He masterfully weaves together threads tying future weapon systems, artificial intelligence, and policy imperatives to deliver a book that is simply a must-read for anyone interested in military technology and its broader implications.”

Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition, and author of The Sentient Machine

“Technology democratizes. What was once the exclusive purview of nation-states quickly becomes accessible by everyone. Army of None serves as a smart primer to what’s to come in warfare, but also what we’re going to have to contend with in our daily lives soon after.”

Bruce Schneier, author of Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

“Be very, very afraid. As this extraordinary book reveals, we are fast sailing into an era in which big life-and-death decisions in war will be made not by men and women, but by artificial intelligence. Are we prepared for the most fundamental shift in warfare in history? This illuminating book will dominate the discussion and analysis of this problem―and its execution in the field―for decades to come.”

Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and author of Sea Power: The History and Politics of the World’s Oceans

“[D]etailed, nuanced, open-minded look at an incredibly complex and technical subject. … Army of None will spark important discussions as it empowers reader with knowledge about a subject with enormous implications.”


“A clear, well-written, and richly documented discussion of an issue that deserves deep and careful study.”

Kirkus (starred)

"In this comprehensive analysis, Scharre moves beyond the clichés of 'killer robots' to explore the complexity of human-machine interactions, distinguishing systems that still partly rely on humans from those that are completely autonomous and highlighting the importance not only of machines’ capabilities but also of human fallibilities."

Lawrence D. Freedman in Foreign Affairs

“Scharre offers an authoritative and sobering perspective on the automated battlefields that will very soon come to characterize military conflict …. engagingly detailed …. An insider’s perspective on the current and likely future course of development of these revolutionary and disruptive military technologies. As such, it is all the more compelling for its clarity and exhaustive detail—and hence well worth reading.”

Science magazine

"Army of None is excellent and a must-read for anyone who is interested or working in these areas."


"[T]he scariest book I've read in a long time. And it's non-fiction."

Ari Shaprio, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered

"[a] fascinating book on how autonomous weapons are radically transforming warfare, and the decisions we have to make about them"

Pedro Domingos, author of The Master Algorithm

"One of the most interesting books on military affairs that I have read in some time ... a thoughtful overview of the mind-boggling issues associated with autonomous weapons"

Tom Ricks in The New York Times

"a thoughtful analysis about where the combination of robots and artificial intelligence is taking us. .... Scharre combines practical policy experience with sincere interest in the social, political, and ethical implications of autonomous weapon systems. This is a sober, policy-focused primer on what is coming"

Frank Hoffman in War on the Rocks

"Army of None is a must-read for anyone interested in AI and the future of warfare"

Task & Purpose

Army of None: Testimonials
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