“The US Army is studying whether robots could take the place of thousands of soldiers. The US Army is considering replacing thousands of soldiers with robots as it deals with sweeping troop cuts. A senior American officer has said he is considering shrinking the size of the Army’s brigade combat teams by a quarter and replacing the lost troops with robots and remote-controlled vehicles. The American military is still far from fielding armies of Terminator-type robotic killers ……………………..”
Send Arnold Schwarzenegger out with them, that would be one way to FINALLY get rid of him. Out of sight out of mind.
How do you tell a dented damaged veteran robot: “thank you for your service” before leaving it out in the cold? You don’t: you can always recycle IT.
You know what will happen next, we have seen a version of this film before. Just like drones, every other nation will aspire to make their own robots or buy some, and many will succeed.
Finally a war without human casualties.
“The UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo has started to deploy unarmed surveillance drones to monitor rebel activity near the forested borders with Rwanda and Uganda. This is the first time any UN mission has deployed drones. The first two were launched from the eastern city of Goma, which was last year briefly occupied by M23 rebels………..”
Like the Hitler-created Volks Wagen (People’s Car in German), the drone is fast becoming a favorite machine for both rich and poor countries. Everybody seems to want them now. Even the United Nations. Some local law enforcement agencies in the USA are seeking to acquire and use drones: the local police already often resemble battle groups in a war zone. Will it be long before the Saudi Commission for the Propagation of Vice (Religious Cops) starts using drones to catch witches and sorcerers, female drivers, and to chaperone married couples? Probably not.
Once upon a time the USA had a monopoly on these drones (at least I think so). But that was then. Now the Iranians mass produce them, as do the Israelis and many others. Hezbollah launches them against the Israelis (who no doubt have been doing the same from the day they launched their first drone). Those who can’t produce their own drones are now at the bottom of the technology pile. Technology-challenged Arab regimes are scrambling to buy them. The potentates of at least one Persian Gulf country are seeking to relocate whole Western plants that produce them, along with their staffs.
The Americans now rely on sophisticated drones to win the no-longer-named-so War on Terror: the old name evokes other failed wars like the War on Drugs and the War on Poverty (no, there is no War on Christmas: that was a creation of Fox News hotheads). The assumption is that decapitating the terrorist organizations with drone attacks will weaken them. This decapitation policy is debatable: so far chopping off one big head has led to the growth of several smaller heads. Al-Qaeda no longer has a brass plaque, a corporate address in Afghanistan or Pakistan or Yemen or Saudi Arabia. It now has franchises that stretch from AfPak through Al-Anbar (Iraq) to once-secular Syria (courtesy of Persian Gulf Salafis and Wahhabi princes) and all the way cross North Africa to the Sahel region.
Here are some links to older posts on this very interesting topic:
War of Drones Reaches the Sinai: Everybody Hitting Muslims and Arabs
Of Suspicious Downed Drones and Aged Kite Runners over the Persian Gulf
Lebanese Drone over Israel? a Mufti’s Body Language
UAE Buys Drones to Attack the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah and All Suspicious Natives
War of Drones: Iranians Claim a New Score
Intern Drones over the Gulf: More on the War of Drones
“Egyptian security officials say an Israeli drone fired a missile in the northern Sinai peninsula, killing five suspected Islamic militants and destroying a rocket launcher. Residents heard a large explosion Friday in the region near the border with Israel. The officials say the attack was in cooperation with Egyptian authorities. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. The Israeli military said they are looking into the report. Egypt’s military and security forces are engaged in long battle against Islamic jihadists in the largely lawless peninsula..………….”
American drones have been blasting Muslim and Arab territory in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, North Africa, the Sahel with impunity for a few years. The intended targets have been Al-Qaeda terrorists, but many civilians have been killed and injured. They have also been spying on whoever they have not been bombing, including Iran (remember the hacked RQ-170 Sentinel drone of Dec. 2011?).
Now Israel seems to be getting into the act. Israeli drones have reportedly been violating Lebanese and Syrian, possibly other, airspace for some time. Now they seem to be engaged in attacks over the Sinai Peninsula, almost certainly with the consent of the Egyptian military. The Egyptian military, good at overthrowing governments and shooting civilians, apparently cannot pacify the Sinai any more than it can win wars. It seems to have decided to subcontract the security of the Sinai to the Israelis. If media reports today are correct.
So what we have are foreign drones waging war over Muslim and Arab territory, a battle-front extending from South Asia to the African Sahel. Now the Sinai has been added. Next target of drone attacks to fill the gaps? Possibly Gaza and Libya.
“The CIA has stepped up secret contingency planning to protect the United States and its allies as the turmoil expands in Syria, including collecting intelligence on Islamic extremists for the first time for possible lethal drone strikes, according to current and former U.S. officials. President Obama has not authorized drone missile strikes in Syria, however, and none are under consideration. The Counterterrorism Center, which runs the CIA’s covert drone killing program in Pakistan and Yemen, recently shifted several targeting officers to improve intelligence collection on militants in Syria who could pose a terrorist threat, the officials said. The targeting officers have formed a unit with colleagues who were tracking Al Qaeda operatives and fighters in Iraq. U.S. officials believe that some of these operatives have moved to Syria and joined Islamic militias battling to overthrow President Bashar Assad..………….”
The US State Department just today blasted a Syrian air attack on the Lebanese border. The State Department never condemns Israeli air incursions and attacks over Lebanon and Syria. Now the State Department is probably preparing spin media statements for the first drone strikes against Jihadists in Syria (possibly even against regime forces in Syria). That means there will be fewer open-air village weddings in Syria, especially in treble-held areas (sort of like Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and possibly Mali).
But who said politics and diplomacy are consistent anywhere?
- After all, the Iranians blast the Bahrain regime, rightly so, but they also blast Syrian rebels and help the government.
- The Saudis blast the rebelling people of Bahrain and support their revolting ruling family even as they support the Syrian rebels.
- The Egyptians support the Bahrain regime and the Syrian rebels, for now.
- The Russians support the Syrian regime but don’t give a fuck publicly about what is happening in Bahrain.
- The Iraqis dislike the Bahrain and Syrian regimes, but they side with the Syrian regime because the Jihadist terrorists who blow up Iraqis also help the Syrian rebels.
- The Yemenis look at the Saudis and Qataris and Emiratis and take sides accordingly. They don’t have a choice, unless they discover a lot of oil near Sana’.
- Come to think of it, most Arabs look at the Saudis and Qataris and Emiratis and decide accordingly. That is why we still call it the League of Arab Nations, they all agree on following the petro-money and adjusting their principles, wtf they are, accordingly.
There are a few other players:
- The Israelis can see benefits (and pitfalls) in any outcome in Syria. As far as the Israelis are concerned, the Arabs are excellent at shooting themselves in the foot and limping away. So why disrupt the pattern? Why ruin a good thing?
- The Chines play it all close to their chest, while the abacus rings.
- The Mafia..……… genug, genug.
“Deep inside these burning buildings
Voices die to be heard
Years we spent teaching a lesson
We ourselves had never learned
And if strength is borne from heartbreak
Many mountains I could move
And if walls could speak I’d pray
That they would tell me what to do
The drones will slave away, they’re working overtime,
They serve a faceless queen, they never question why.….” Drones (by Back Against)
“Given these views, experts fear that Holder’s argument in support of the war on terror could also serve as a rationale for possible future military strikes ordered by Obama. Claus Kress, a Cologne-based professor of international law and an internationally renowned expert on the US’s stance on the laws of war, believes that it is “not inconceivable” that, in justifying the drone war, Obama’s top lawyers may have already set their sights on an altogether different target: Iran. Legally speaking, a military strike against the mullahs’ nuclear program — which Obama believes is conceivable should it become verifiably clear that there is no other way to stop Iran from building a bomb — would only be possible with the permission of the United Nations Security Council. But the Russians and the Chinese would probably veto any such consent. As a result, the United States would have to invoke its “inherent” right of self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter. Still, this requires that Iran has essentially raised its weapon against Israel or the United States………”
As the old song says: “birds do it, bees do it….”
Everybody is doing it these days, or soon will be. China is building drones. Israel is using drones. Iran is building and using drones. Before you know it, we’ll have most nations building their own drones. Then we’d have various sects in each country building their own drones: we’d have Shi’a drones, Salafi drones, Ikhwan drones, and Sufi drones. Then there will be Coptic drones and Maronite drones and Orthodox drones. Then we’d have tribal drones around the Gulf: Shemmar drones (more than one type), Ajmi drones, Mutairi drones, Comanche drones, Arapaho drones, etc. Then there will be neighborhood drones…….
In the United States, if things go along the current trajectory, there may be Republican drones and Democrat drones. In fact there already are some primitive prototypes: they call them senators and representatives.