News | July 20, 2022

Who Gets Smart? Explaining How Precision Bombs Proliferate

By Lauren Kahn and Michael C. Horowitz

Recent publication from Minerva-funded researchers theorize about the key drivers of smart bomb proliferation, including an interaction between the security environment, regime type, and the interest of states in precision to help them follow the law of war. They introduce a new dataset on smart bombs from 1960-2017. The results show that internal and external security threats make countries more likely to acquire smart bombs. These effects interact with regime type and whether countries are more likely to ratify treaties related to the law of war. GDP per capita and economic capacity also appears fundamental to explaining smart bomb adoption.

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Associated Minerva-funded project: The Disruptive Effects of Autonomy: Ethics, Trust, and Organizational Decision-making