Author Biography

Anthony King is the Chair of War Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. He has published widely on the armed forces. His most recent book, Urban Warfare in the Twenty-First Century, was published by Polity in 2021. A second edition will appear next year. He is currently writing a book on AI and military transformation.



Subject Area Keywords

Intelligence analysis, Iraq, Israel, National security, War studies


It is widely believed that AI is about to revolutionise military operations. Many scholars have claimed that AI-enabled lethal autonomous weapons, especially drone swarms, are about to take over the battlefield. This article assesses the merits of those claims in relation to urban operations. Examining the cases of the Joint Special Operations Command in Baghdad in 2004-08 and the IDF's Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021, it argues that AI will primarily be for military intelligence and targeting, rather than lethal autonomy.